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Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought

University of Illinois scientists have linked historical crop insurance, climate, soil and corn yield data to quantify the effects of excessive rainfall on corn yield.

Recent flooding in the Midwest has brought attention to the complex agricultural problems associated with too much rain. Data from the past three decades suggest that excessive rainfall can affect crop yield as much as excessive heat and drought. In a new study, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Illinois linked crop insurance, climate, soil and corn yield data from 1981 through 2016.

The study found that during some years, excessive rainfall reduced U.S. corn yield by as much as 34% relative to the expected yield. Data suggest that drought and excessive heat caused a yield loss of up to 37% during some years. The findings are published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Read the full article at the Illinois News Bureau


Publication Date: 05/01/2019
Photo credits: L. Brian Stauffer
Editor: Lois Yoksoulian