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

  • Yu, Tian
  • Babcock, Bruce A.

The hypothesis that corn and soybeans have become more drought tolerant is tested by regressing county yields on a drought index and time. Results indicate that corn yield losses from drought of a given severity, whether measured in quantity terms or as a percentage of mean yields, have decreased over time. Soybean percentage yield losses have also declined, but absolute losses have remained largely constant. The potential impact of increased drought tolerance on U.S. crop insurance rates is illustrated by comparing Group Risk Plan premium rates assuming time-invariant susceptibility to drought with rates generated from this article’s regression results.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 32098.

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Date of creation: 15 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics 2010, vol. 92, pp. 1310-1323
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32098
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Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

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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.
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