October 16, 2013

Using Degree Days to Value Farmland?

We revisit the use of degree days to estimate land values in the United States using the rich NARR weather reanalysis. With temperature data at 3-hour time intervals since 1979 we compute degree days more precisely than in previous papers. We also review the agronomic literature to see if it appropriate or not to use degree days to predict plants' growth.

Using Degree Days to Value Farmland?

by Emanuele Massetti, Robert Mendelsohn and Shun Chonabayashi

Abstract: Farmland values have traditionally been valued using seasonal temperature and precipitation. A new strand of the literature argues that degree days over the growing season provide more accurate predictions of farmland value than seasonal temperature and that farmland values fall precipitously at 34⁰C. The paper shows that these hypotheses of the degree day literature fail when accurate measures of degree days are used.

The paper is available here. Supplementary material is available here.