The United States is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of corn and soybeans, in part because its yields are among the highest in the world. However, a changing climate may affect these yields, which will ultimately affect the production and availability of products for export.
It is estimated that US corn yields could increase by 3.1% and soybean yields could decrease by 3.0% in 2036 compared to 2016, according to climate projections. These results are primarily due to an increased frequency of extreme heat periods and decreased precipitation in counties east of the 100th meridian in the United States. These estimates are then used in a simulation model to assess the market implications of these crop projects, and the results show that these changes in yield can affect US production and, in turn, trade.
Estimated growth in US corn yields increases corn production, which ultimately affects the amount of corn available in the United States for export. Holding the yield of other countries fixed, the model shows that US corn exports increased by 0.36% (the equivalent of $63 million). The decrease in soybean yields will reduce production, leading to a 1.17% drop in US exports (equivalent to $319 million) based on 2016 exports.