The future landscape of U.S. crops: A new technique for understanding crop shifting under climate change
James Rising (London School of Economics)
The Institute of Economics will hold one of the next meetings of its Seminar Series on Tuesday, May 29, 2018: James Rising, from the London School of Economics, will present the paper The future landscape of U.S. crops: A new technique for understanding crop shifting under climate change.
Heat waves and water deficits result in different impacts on agricultural yields in different regions, according to variations in management practice, seed variety, and climatic conditions. We develop a new multilevel model for six crops in the United States to model regional responses empirically. In our model, the responsiveness of yields to water deficits and temperatures varies according to regional climate and irrigation covariates. The structural relationships between crop yield and regional climate as well as idiosyncratic county differences are estimated simultaneously, with Bayesian partial pooling. We show that this model out-performs standard OLS models under cross-validation for four of the six crops. Importantly, this model can also predict yield functions for areas where the crop is not currently grown. We use these predicted yield functions to study how crops may shift under climate change and estimate the impacts of climate change under optimal reallocation of farmland.