Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique weather a factor in record 2004 Midwest crop yields

14.03.2005


If farmers talk big about 2004 crops as they get ready to head out into the fields this spring, let them talk. Believe them. Last year’s crop season saw record yields in every major crop amid the closest-to-perfect weather conditions of the last century, scientists say.



"Never before have corn, soybeans, sorghum, and alfalfa hay all achieved record yields in the same year," said Stanley A. Changnon, chief emeritus of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and an adjunct professor of geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In Illinois, the average corn yield in 2004 was 180 bushels per acre -- 16 bushels an acre higher than the record set in 2003. Soybean yields was 50.5 bushels per acre, beating a record set in 1994 by five bushels per acre. Record high corn yields also were reported in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio. Nationally, the corn yield was 160 bushels per acre -- 18 bushels an acre above the 2003 record.


"Planting during the 2004 growing season was early," Changnon said. "Summer temperatures were below normal with no hot days. Rainfall was adequate. Crop-yield predictions issued during the growing season and up through August 2004 did not anticipate the high magnitude of the corn and soybean yields that actually occurred."

Sophisticated crop-weather models relying on daily temperature and rainfall values of 2004 also did not calculate yields as high as the actual yields. Predictions and model-generated yields were 7 percent to 15 percent lower than final corn yields for the 11 Corn Belt states, and 15 percent to 33 percent lower than final soybean yields of the Midwest.

Those outcomes, Changnon said, help to reveal that weather conditions critical to generating extremely high yields of all Midwest crops were not detected. He and his son David Changnon, a geography professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, decided to take a closer look at the weather conditions during 2004.

"A climatological evaluation revealed that summer 2004 conditions were unlike any experienced during the past 117 years," Stanley Changnon said.

They found that an unusually high number of sunny days had occurred, aiding photosynthesis. The frequency of summer days with clear skies was a critical, beneficial factor for all the crops grown in the Midwest.

"When a large number of clear days occurred in most previous summers, conditions were hot and dry with much above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Temperatures in 18 of the 33 summers between 1888 and 2003 with frequent clear skies averaged between 1.2 degrees Farenheit and 4.5 degrees Farenheit above the long-term average," Stanley Changnon said.

Summers with frequent clear skies, well below average temperatures, and above average rainfall occurred in just two years in the past 117 years: 1927 and 2004. Skies were clear on many more days in 2004 than in 1927, and June and August rainfall in both years had different magnitudes. Thus, the 2004 weather conditions were anomalous.

Summers with below average temperatures in all three months (June, July and August), as in 2004, occurred in 18 previous summers between 1888 and 2003. Sky conditions during those cool summers were mostly cloudy, quite different than in 2004.

Sunny, cool conditions in 2004 were a result of 20 cold Canadian fronts that crossed the Midwest, followed by strong high-pressure systems for several days. Each such intrusion dropped temperatures 5-15 degrees, followed by several clear days. High-pressure centers dominated the atmospheric circulation and kept warm, stationary fronts with their attendant penetrations of warm, moist air masses away from the Midwest.

"The atmospheric circulation pattern during summer 2004 was unusual, but these conditions and their crop impacts are not considered indicative of those expected with a change in climate due to global warming," Stanley Changnon said.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

WSU research advances energy savings for oil, gas industries

28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?

28.02.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>