By Paul C. Westcott, USDA, Economic Research Service and Michael Jewison, USDA, World Agricultural Outlook Board
Drought and high temperatures during the 2012 growing season affected many agricultural production regions in the United States. For the third consecutive year, national average corn yields were reduced below trend expectations due to weather. Similarly, weather pushed national average soybean yields below trend for the second year in a row. As a result, there is a renewed interest in the relationship between weather and yields for these crops. This paper addresses this issue by developing U.S. corn and soybean yield models that account for weather and other factors.
To better understand weather effects on crop yields, a review of the weather and yields for 2012 is presented. National yield models for corn and soybeans are then developed, with selected model properties examined. Next is a discussion of how the weather-related yield models performed through the 2012 growing season. Lastly, implications for expected yields in 2013 are presented.
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