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Using Historical Yield Data to Determine the Effect of Climate Change on Productivity of Spring Wheat, Barley, and Oats in Minnesota

Changes in the climate's averages and variability that have been observed in Minnesota include higher average night time temperatures, higher summer dew points, and nearly a decade of above-normal precipitation. Understanding the effect of such long-term climate change on yields of three cool-season cereals (spring wheat, barley, and oats) is important for the producers of Minnesota. If these climate trends continue, cropping systems may be altered permanently and thereby erode crop diversity. Katherine Klink (Department of Geography) analyzed whether the observed pattern of climate variability and change in Minnesota has had an impact on the productivity and ultimately the acreage of spring wheat, barley, and oats. The availability of long-term yield data that includes historical checks from the respective University of Minnesota breeding programs enabled the research group to determine whether climate change has had such an impact.

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Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737

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