Climate change influences on crop mix shifts in the United States Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine the impact of current and future climate on crop mixes over space in the US. We find using historical data that temperature and precipitation are among the causal factors for shits in crop production location and mixes, with some crops being more sensitive than others. In particular, we find that when temperature rises, cotton, rice, sorghum and winter wheat are more likely to be chosen. We also find that barley, sorghum, winter wheat, spring wheat and hay are more likely to be chosen as regions become drier, and corn, cotton, rice and soybeans are more likely to be selected in wetter regions. Additionally, we assess how much of the observed crop mix shifts between 1970 and 2010 were contributed to by climate change. There we find climate explains about 7-50% of the shift in latitude, 20-36% in longitude and 4-28% of that in elevation. Finally, we estimate climate change impacts on future crop mix under CMIP5 scenarios. There we find shifts in US production regions for almost all major crops with the movement north and east. The estimates describe how the farmers respond to altering climate and can be used for planning future crop allocations.

altmetric score

  • 17

author list (cited authors)

  • Cho, S. J., & McCarl, B. A.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Cho, Sung Ju||McCarl, Bruce A

publication date

  • January 2017