NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Corn Production Shocks in 2012 and Beyond: Implications for Food Price Volatility

Steven T. Berry, Michael J. Roberts, Wolfram Schlenker

NBER Working Paper No. 18659
Issued in December 2012
NBER Program(s):   EEE

Corn prices increased sharply in the summer of 2012 due to expected production shortfalls in the United States, which produces roughly 40% of the world’s corn. A heat wave in July adversely affected corn production. We extend earlier statistical models of county-level corn yields in the Eastern United States by allowing the effect of various weather measures to vary in a flexible manner over the growing season: Extreme heat is especially harmful around a third into the growing season. This is the time when the 2012 heat wave hit the Corn Belt. Our model predicts 2012 corn yields will be 23% below trend. While extreme heat was significantly above normal, climate change scenarios suggest that the 2012 outcomes will soon be the new normal.

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Acknowledgments and Disclosures

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18659

Forthcoming: Corn Production Shocks in 2012 and Beyond: Implications for Harvest Volatility, Steven T. Berry, Michael J. Roberts, Wolfram Schlenker. in The Economics of Food Price Volatility, Chavas, Hummels, and Wright. 2014

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