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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351787

Research Project: Utilization of the G x E x M Framework to Develop Climate Adaptation Strategies for Temperate Agricultural Systems

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Title: Climate change impacts on corn phenology and productivity

item Hatfield, Jerry
item DOLD, CHRISTIAN - Orise Fellow

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2018
Publication Date: 10/10/2018
Citation: Hatfield, J.L., Dold, C. 2018. Climate change impacts on corn phenology and productivity. In: Amanullah, Fahad, S., editors. Corn Production and Human Health in Changing Climate. London, UK: Intechopen. p. 95-114.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Climate is changing around the world and will impact future production of all food and feed crops. Corn is no exception to these impacts and to ensure a future supply of this vital crop we must begin to understand how climate impacts both the phenological development of corn and the productivity. Temperature and precipitation are the two climate factors that will have a major impact on corn phenology and productivity. The warming climate will increase the rate of phenological development because the number of thermal units required for leaf appearance is relatively constant in the vegetative stage of growth. Productivity of corn is reduced when extreme temperature events occur during pollination and is further exaggerated when there are water deficits at pollination. During the grain-filling period, warm temperatures above the upper threshold cause a reduction in yield. Estimates obtained from simulation models suggest that for every 1°C increase in temperature there would be nearly a 10% reduction in yield. To ensure corn production into the future to meet world demand, adaptation practices will have to be developed to provide water to the growing crop and avoid periods of the growing season with extreme high temperature events. Climate change will continue to affect corn production and understanding these effects will help determine where new areas for potential production exist and the capacity for innovative adaptation practices to benefit yield stability could be utilized.