January 05, 2016

How do heat waves, cold waves, droughts, hail and tornadoes affect US agriculture?

A very first draft of a new paper on climate extremes available here. Still preliminary and incomplete.

Presented today at the ASSA meetings in San Francisco. Presentation available here.


We estimate the impact of extreme events on corn and soybeans yields, and on agricultural land values in the Eastern United States. We find the most harmful event is a severe drought but that cold waves, heat waves, and storms all reduce both corn and soybean yields. Over 80% of the damage from extreme events is caused by droughts and cold waves with heat waves causing only 6% of the damage. Including extreme events in a panel model of weather alters how temperature affects yields, making cold temperature more harmful and hot temperatures less harmful. Extreme events have no effect on farmland values probably because American farmers are buffered from extreme events by subsidized public crop insurance.