Minnesota Crop Yields Enhanced by Climate Change

Soybean yields in Minnesota are up nearly 3% due to a changing climate, estimates the University of Minnesota. ( Farm Journal, Inc. )

A University of Minnesota (U of M) study suggests climate change is actually enhancing corn and soybean yields in the state, according an article published by the Star Tribune.

Based on a model developed by Deepak Ray at the U of M’s Institute on the Environment, corn yields could be up by as much as 8% while soybean yields are up 2.8%.

The results shocked Ray, who thought the Upper Midwest would be a loser of yield. “It was totally a surprise,” he says.

Other areas of the U.S. aren’t so lucky. The Eastern corn belt have seen yields decline due to changing climate. Other areas of the world are even worse off, he says.

Soybean yields in Western Europe are down 22%, and corn yields are by 25% in Eastern and Northern Europe.

Global corn yields have remained stable, mostly due to improving conditions in South America. Global soybean yields are up 3.5%, thanks largely in part to increasing output in the Upper Midwest.