Growing corn and soybeans will become increasingly challenging for Kansas farmers as the climate warms, according to a recent Kansas State University study.
The study found that drought and heat are currently the biggest reason for crop yield losses and expect that these losses will become more common because of climate change, The Wichita Eagle reports.
If temperatures rise another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, risks to crop yields will increase by 32% for corn and 11% for soybeans, according to the study. It looked at USDA Risk Management Agency data over 25 years in every state east of the 100th Meridian, which goes through Dodge City and divides the country from humid eastern states to arid western states, where crops depend more heavily on irrigation.
“Kansas is having a relatively larger increase in crop risk as a response to a one-degree Celsius warming, compared to the other parts of the country,” said Jisang Yu, assistant professor of agriculture economics at K-State.
Most of Kansas fall into the top 20% percentile for the predicted increase in crop risk for corn and soybeans, according to Yu. On average, the southern U.S. will be hit harder by rising temperatures.
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