Dust Bowl II?

There's a lot more drought news these days (they gave me a quote all the way at the end of the story).  By some measures, particularly the US Drought Monitor, things look pretty bad.

But the time-series plot at the NY Times doesn't go back very far in time.  If it did, the current drought would look much less exceptional.  Also, the areas with severe drought are not very productive agricultural areas.  The Midwestern bread basket looks just fine right now.  Although the productive Mississippi Valley looks dry, crops there are irrigated, which should mitigate the damages.

Perhaps more importantly, standard drought indicators don't predict crop outcomes especially well.  I wish they'd emphasize extreme heat more than drought. I think we need our own "extreme heat indicator."  With any luck, we'll have one soon...

A larger concern could be the heat wave about to hit the midwest.  This is a bad time for extreme heat because corn plants are probably close to the flowering stage.  If it turns out as hot or a bit hotter than expected, and if that heat sticks around awhile, it will start looking real bad for corn yield.

The price volatility party is just getting started...


  1. article in fit quite interesting to read so that adds new knowledge to my

  2. I think that some agricultural meteorologists have estimated crop production functions. It is not just the extent of drought/heat it is also when it occurs in the crop's growth cycle.



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