Future climate change impacts on U.S. agricultural yields, production, and market

Elsevier, Anthropocene, Volume 42, June 2023
Fei C., Jagermeyr J., McCarl B., Contreras E.M., Mutter C., Phillips M. et al.

This study provides estimates of climate change impacts on U.S. agricultural yields and the agricultural economy through the end of the 21st century, utilizing multiple climate scenarios. Results from a process-based crop model project future increases in wheat, grassland, and soybean yield due to climate change and atmospheric CO2 change; corn and sorghum show more muted responses. Results using yields from econometric models show less positive results. Both the econometric and process-based models tend to show more positive yields by the end of the century than several other similar studies. Using the process-based model to provide future yield estimates to an integrated agricultural sector model, the welfare gain is roughly $16B/year (2019 USD) for domestic producers and $6.2B/year for international trade, but domestic consumers lose $10.6B/year, resulting in a total welfare gain of $11.7B/year. When yield projections for major crops are drawn instead from econometric models, total welfare losses of more than $28B/year arise. Simulations using the process-based model as input to the agricultural sector model show large future production increases for soybean, wheat, and sorghum and large price reductions for corn and wheat. The most important factors are those about economic growth, flooding, international trade, and the type of yield model used. Somewhat less, but not insignificant factors include adaptation, livestock productivity, and damages from surface ozone, waterlogging, and pests and diseases.