Precipitation and Temperature Variations Affect Soybean Yield Gain
Researchers have determined that precipitation and temperature variations over the past 20 years have suppressed the U.S. average soybean yield gain by about 30 percent, representing a loss to the industry of $11 billion nationally. In Ohio alone, that suppression is estimated to have cost $2.9 billion during the past 20 years, according to a NIFA-funded study by The Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center scientists. The study documents temperatures, changes in cultural practices, soybean varieties and technology in soybean production from 1970 to the present. The study found that for every 1 C (1.8 F) rise in temperature during the growing season, soybean yields fell by about 2.4 percent. Some crop management strategies such as the development of new cultivars and hybrids, changes in planting dates, the use of cover crops, and greater management of crop residues from the previous year could help limit the potential negative impacts of weather variations.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2015 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.