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Adaptation to climate change: changes in farmland use and stocking rate in the U.S


  • Jianhong Mu


  • Bruce McCarl
  • Anne Wein


This paper examines possible adaptations to climate change in terms of pasture and crop land use and stocking rate in the United States (U.S.). Using Agricultural Census and climate data in a statistical model, we find that as temperature and precipitation increases agricultural commodity producers respond by reducing crop land and increasing pasture land. In addition, cattle stocking rate decreases as the summer Temperature-humidity Index (THI) increases and summer precipitation decreases. Using the statistical model with climate data from four General Circulation Models (GCMs), we project that land use shifts from cropping to grazing and the stocking rate declines, and these adaptations are more pronounced in the central and the southeast regions of the U.S. Controlling for other farm production variables, crop land decreases by 6 % and pasture land increases by 33 % from the baseline. Correspondingly, the associated economic impact due to adaptation is around −14 and 29 million dollars to crop producers and pasture producers by the end of this century, respectively. The national and regional results have implications for farm programs and subsidy policies. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Jianhong Mu & Bruce McCarl & Anne Wein, 2013. "Adaptation to climate change: changes in farmland use and stocking rate in the U.S," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 713-730, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:18:y:2013:i:6:p:713-730
    DOI: 10.1007/s11027-012-9384-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Papke, Leslie E. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Panel data methods for fractional response variables with an application to test pass rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 121-133, July.
    2. John Mullahy, 2010. "Multivariate Fractional Regression Estimation of Econometric Share Models," NBER Working Papers 16354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Esmeralda A. Ramalho & Joaquim J.S. Ramalho & José M.R. Murteira, 2011. "Alternative Estimating And Testing Empirical Strategies For Fractional Regression Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 19-68, February.
    4. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Michael Hanemann & Anthony C. Fisher, 2006. "The Impact of Global Warming on U.S. Agriculture: An Econometric Analysis of Optimal Growing Conditions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 113-125, February.
    5. Seo, S. Niggol & McCarl, Bruce A. & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2010. "From beef cattle to sheep under global warming? An analysis of adaptation by livestock species choice in South America," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2486-2494, October.
    6. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Jason P.H. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2016. "Impacts of U.S. Production-Dependent Ethanol Policy on Agricultural Markets," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236258, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. repec:eee:agisys:v:165:y:2018:i:c:p:164-176 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:transb:v:123:y:2019:i:c:p:279-322 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:ecomod:v:291:y:2014:i:c:p:152-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chonabayashi, Shun, 2014. "Accounting for Land Use Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts on US Agriculture," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170710, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Beach, Robert & Zhang, Yuquan & Baker, Justin & Hagerman, Amy & McCarl, Bruce, 2015. "Implications of Climate Change on Regional Livestock Production in the United States," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211207, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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