Abstract

Increasing drought and extreme rainfall are major threats to maize production in the United States. However, compared to drought impact, the impact of excessive rainfall on crop yield remains unresolved. Here, we present observational evidence from crop yield and insurance data that excessive rainfall can reduce maize yield up to −34% (−17 ± 3% on average) in the United States relative to the expected yield from the long-term trend, comparable to the up to −37% loss by extreme drought (−32 ± 2% on average) from 1981 to 2016. Drought consistently decreases maize yield due to water deficiency and concurrent heat, with greater yield loss for rainfed maize in wetter areas. Excessive rainfall can have either negative or positive impact on crop yield, and its sign varies regionally. Excessive rainfall decreases maize yield significantly in cooler areas in conjunction with poorly drained soils, and such yield loss gets exacerbated under the condition of high preseason soil water storage. Current process-based crop models cannot capture the yield loss from excessive rainfall and overestimate yield under wet conditions. Our results highlight the need for improved understanding and modeling of the excessive rainfall impact on crop yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2325-2337
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal change biology
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

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Drought
Rain
drought
maize
Crops
rainfall
crop yield
Soils
Water
Insurance
loss
water storage
soil water
crop
modeling

Keywords

  • crop model
  • drought
  • extreme climate
  • extreme rainfall
  • maize production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

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title = "Excessive rainfall leads to maize yield loss of a comparable magnitude to extreme drought in the United States",
abstract = "Increasing drought and extreme rainfall are major threats to maize production in the United States. However, compared to drought impact, the impact of excessive rainfall on crop yield remains unresolved. Here, we present observational evidence from crop yield and insurance data that excessive rainfall can reduce maize yield up to −34{\%} (−17 ± 3{\%} on average) in the United States relative to the expected yield from the long-term trend, comparable to the up to −37{\%} loss by extreme drought (−32 ± 2{\%} on average) from 1981 to 2016. Drought consistently decreases maize yield due to water deficiency and concurrent heat, with greater yield loss for rainfed maize in wetter areas. Excessive rainfall can have either negative or positive impact on crop yield, and its sign varies regionally. Excessive rainfall decreases maize yield significantly in cooler areas in conjunction with poorly drained soils, and such yield loss gets exacerbated under the condition of high preseason soil water storage. Current process-based crop models cannot capture the yield loss from excessive rainfall and overestimate yield under wet conditions. Our results highlight the need for improved understanding and modeling of the excessive rainfall impact on crop yield.",
keywords = "crop model, drought, extreme climate, extreme rainfall, maize production",
author = "Yan Li and Kaiyu Guan and Schnitkey, {Gary Donald} and Delucia, {Evan H} and Bin Peng",
year = "2019",
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T1 - Excessive rainfall leads to maize yield loss of a comparable magnitude to extreme drought in the United States

AU - Li, Yan

AU - Guan, Kaiyu

AU - Schnitkey, Gary Donald

AU - Delucia, Evan H

AU - Peng, Bin

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - Increasing drought and extreme rainfall are major threats to maize production in the United States. However, compared to drought impact, the impact of excessive rainfall on crop yield remains unresolved. Here, we present observational evidence from crop yield and insurance data that excessive rainfall can reduce maize yield up to −34% (−17 ± 3% on average) in the United States relative to the expected yield from the long-term trend, comparable to the up to −37% loss by extreme drought (−32 ± 2% on average) from 1981 to 2016. Drought consistently decreases maize yield due to water deficiency and concurrent heat, with greater yield loss for rainfed maize in wetter areas. Excessive rainfall can have either negative or positive impact on crop yield, and its sign varies regionally. Excessive rainfall decreases maize yield significantly in cooler areas in conjunction with poorly drained soils, and such yield loss gets exacerbated under the condition of high preseason soil water storage. Current process-based crop models cannot capture the yield loss from excessive rainfall and overestimate yield under wet conditions. Our results highlight the need for improved understanding and modeling of the excessive rainfall impact on crop yield.

AB - Increasing drought and extreme rainfall are major threats to maize production in the United States. However, compared to drought impact, the impact of excessive rainfall on crop yield remains unresolved. Here, we present observational evidence from crop yield and insurance data that excessive rainfall can reduce maize yield up to −34% (−17 ± 3% on average) in the United States relative to the expected yield from the long-term trend, comparable to the up to −37% loss by extreme drought (−32 ± 2% on average) from 1981 to 2016. Drought consistently decreases maize yield due to water deficiency and concurrent heat, with greater yield loss for rainfed maize in wetter areas. Excessive rainfall can have either negative or positive impact on crop yield, and its sign varies regionally. Excessive rainfall decreases maize yield significantly in cooler areas in conjunction with poorly drained soils, and such yield loss gets exacerbated under the condition of high preseason soil water storage. Current process-based crop models cannot capture the yield loss from excessive rainfall and overestimate yield under wet conditions. Our results highlight the need for improved understanding and modeling of the excessive rainfall impact on crop yield.

KW - crop model

KW - drought

KW - extreme climate

KW - extreme rainfall

KW - maize production

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