THEGREENGROK    Statistically Speaking

Drought gives corn farmers that sinking feeling

by Bill Chameides | September 14th, 2012
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 1 comment


So much for a bumper crop of U.S. corn this year. Despite record plantings, yields will be much lower than predicted because of the ongoing drought. (Missouri/NRCS)

The year 2012 was supposed to be a record year for corn production in the United States.

Instead we got a record-breaking drought, the worst in decades.


U.S. corn yields (bushels per acre). Red bars: Historic yields 2000-2011. Green bars outlined with red dashed line: Projected yield for 2012 as a function of the month in which the projection was made showing the drop in projected yield as the drought has taken hold. Blue line: Area (in millions of acres) planted for 2000-2012. (Sources: All numbers from U.S.D.A. Quick Stats except June and July estimates, which are from the Des Moines Register.)

And here’s another projection. According to the National Weather Service, and despite the deluge courtesy of Hurricane Isaac, the drought is predicted to continue through November.

filed under: agriculture, drought, faculty, food, Statistically Speaking

1 Comment

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  1. Hank Roberts
    Sep 19, 2012

    Relevant: A plug for an old college friend who’s spent the last 40 years working on developing what could become a commercially viable tree crop suitable for replacing corn and soybeans.

    He’s about at that point, making the transition from a research farm to a business farming and supplying plants to other farmers.


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