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 How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>