Paper 2. agricultural impacts of and responses to climate change in the Missouri-Iowa-Nebraska-Kansas (MINK) region

William E. Easterling, Pierre R. Crosson, Norman J. Rosenberg, Mary S. McKenney, Laura A. Katz, Kathleen M. Lemon

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The climate of the 1930s was used as an analog of the climate that might occur in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (the MINK region) as a consequence of global warming. The analog climate was imposed on the agriculture of the region under technological and economic conditions prevailing in 1984/87 and again under a scenario of conditions that might prevail in 2030. The EPIC model of Williams et al. (1984), modified to allow consideration of the yield enhancing effects of CO2 enrichment, was used to evaluate the impacts of the analog climate on the productivity and water use of some 50 representative farm enterprises. Before farm level adjustments and adaptations to the changed climate, and absent CO2 enrichment (from 350 to 450 ppm), production of corn, sorghum and soybeans was depressed by the analog climate in about the same percent under both current and 2030 conditions. Production of dryland wheat was unaffected. Irrigated wheat production actually increased. Farm level adjustments using low-cost currently available technologies, combined with CO2 enrichment, eliminated about 80% of the negative impact of the analog climate on 1984/87 baseline crop production. The same farm level adjustments, plus new technologies developed in response to the analog climate, when combined with CO2 enrichment, converted the negative impact on 2030 crop production to a small increase. The analog climate would have little direct effect on animal production in MINK. The effect, if any, would be by way of the impact on production of feed-grains and soybeans. Since this impact would be small after on-farm adjustments and CO2 enrichment, animal production in MINK would be little affected by the analog climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-61
Number of pages39
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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