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Are U.S. Corn and Soybeans Becoming More Drought Tolerant?

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  • Tian Yu
  • Bruce A. Babcock

Abstract

An objective drought index that measures the dry and hot conditions adversely affecting crop yields is used in a regression analysis to test whether corn and soybeans have become more drought tolerant. Results indicate that corn yield losses, whether measured in quantity terms or as a percentage of mean yield, have decreased. The null hypothesis that the absolute level of soybean yield losses due to drought has not changed cannot be rejected. But yield losses in percentage terms have decreased over time. Because drought is the primary cause of yield loss in the U.S. crop insurance program and because U.S. crop insurance rates assume that percentage of yield losses are constant over time, these results indicate that U.S. crop insurance rates in the Corn Belt are too high.

Suggested Citation

  • Tian Yu & Bruce A. Babcock, 2009. "Are U.S. Corn and Soybeans Becoming More Drought Tolerant?," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 09-wp500, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:09-wp500
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel O'Brien & Marvin Hayenga & Bruce Babcock, 1996. "Deriving Forecast Probability Distributions of Harvest-Time Corn Futures Prices," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 167-180.
    2. Jerry R. Skees & J. Roy Black & Barry J. Barnett, 1997. "Designing and Rating an Area Yield Crop Insurance Contract," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 430-438.
    3. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jesse B. Tack & Matthew T. Holt, 2016. "The influence of weather extremes on the spatial correlation of corn yields," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 134(1), pages 299-309, January.
    2. Xiaodong Du & David A. Hennessy & Cindy L. Yu, 2012. "Testing Day's Conjecture that More Nitrogen Decreases Crop Yield Skewness," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 225-237.
    3. Giri, Anil & Johnson, Bruce & Supalla, Raymond, 2016. "An Alternative Approach to Measuring Drought in the Corn Belt," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235628, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Xiaodong Du & Cindy L. Yu & David A. Hennessy & Ruiqing Miao, 2015. "Geography of crop yield skewness," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(4), pages 463-473, July.
    5. Leister, Amanda M. & Lee, John G. & Paarlberg, Philip L., 2013. "Dynamic Effects of Drought on the U.S. Livestock Sector," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149946, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Huang, Pei & McCarl, Bruce A., 2014. "Estimating Decadal Climate Variability Effects on Crop Yields: A Bayesian Hierarchical Approach," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169828, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Shen, Zhiwei, 2016. "Adaptive local parametric estimation of crop yields: implication for crop insurance ratemaking," 156th Seminar, October 4, 2016, Wagenigen, The Netherlands 249984, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Yu, Tian, 2011. "Three essays on weather and crop yield," ISU General Staff Papers 201101010800002976, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Sung, Jae-hoon & Miranowski, John A., 2016. "Information technologies and field-level chemical use for corn production," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235858, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Woodard, Joshua D. & Chiu Verteramo, Leslie & Miller, Alyssa P., 2015. "Adaptation of U.S. Agricultural Production to Drought and Climate Change," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205903, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Adhikari, Shyam & Knight, Thomas O. & Belasco, Eric J., 2012. "Evaluation of Crop Insurance Yield Guarantees and Producer Welfare with Upward-Trending Yields," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(3), December.
    12. Birthal, Pratap S. & Negi, Digvijay S. & Khan, Md. Tajuddin & Agarwal, Shaily, 2015. "Is Indian agriculture becoming resilient to droughts? Evidence from rice production systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-12.
    13. Peng, Yixing, 2015. "Three essays on biofuel, weather and corn yield," ISU General Staff Papers 201501010800005633, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corn; crop insurance rates; drought tolerance; soybean; yield risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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