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Corn Production Shocks in 2012 and Beyond: Implications for Food Price Volatility

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  • Steven T. Berry
  • Michael J. Roberts
  • Wolfram Schlenker

Abstract

Corn prices increased sharply in the summer of 2012 due to expected production shortfalls in the United States, which produces roughly 40% of the world’s corn. A heat wave in July adversely affected corn production. We extend earlier statistical models of county-level corn yields in the Eastern United States by allowing the effect of various weather measures to vary in a flexible manner over the growing season: Extreme heat is especially harmful around a third into the growing season. This is the time when the 2012 heat wave hit the Corn Belt. Our model predicts 2012 corn yields will be 23% below trend. While extreme heat was significantly above normal, climate change scenarios suggest that the 2012 outcomes will soon be the new normal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18659.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Publication status: published as Steven T. Berry, Michael J. Roberts, Wolfram Schlenker. "Corn Production Shocks in 2012 and Beyond: Implications for Harvest Volatility," in Jean-Paul Chavas, David Hummels, and Brian Wright, "The Economics of Food Price Volatility" University of Chicago Press (2014)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18659

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