Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Will U.S. corn survive climate change?

Corn still remains America's number one crop spreading around 80 million acres of land. Corn is also one of the U.S. top exported goods with approximately 20 percent of the total corn crop exported to other countries. The corn's primary use in United States is to feed livestock.

How will U.S. corn production cope with increased climate change impact still remains to be seen. The recent studies were anything but positive claiming that climate change will have devastating impact on U.S. corn production.

Researchers from Stanford and Purdue universities believe that U.S. farmers will soon be forced to move their corn fields north because of the increasing heat waves caused by increased temperatures.

They also claim that climate change's impact on corn price volatility will be far greater than the volatility caused by changing oil prices.

The worst news is that even if global temperature increase doesn't reach the internationally recognized target limit of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the temperature increase could still make damaging heat waves much more common over the U.S. corn belt.

Increasing heat waves will no doubt lead to low-yield years and this could lead to significant increase in food prices.

There are two possible solutions to this issue: either we'll have to do something effective against climate change or the science will have to find solution to significantly increase corn's heat tolerance.

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