We estimate the impacts of drought, as defined by the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), on crop yields and farm income in the United States during the 2001–2013 time period. Our empirical strategy relies on panel data models with fixed effects that exploit spatial and temporal variability in drought conditions and agricultural outcomes at the county level. We find negative and statistically significant effects of drought on crop yields equal to reductions in the range of 0.1% to 1.2% for corn and soybean yields for each additional week of drought in dryland counties, and 0.1% to 0.5% in irrigated counties. Region-specific results vary, with some regions experiencing no yield impacts from drought, while yield reductions as high as 8.0% are observed in dryland counties in the Midwest for every additional week of drought in the highest USDM severity category. Despite this impact on crop yields, we find that additional weeks of drought have little to no effect on measures of farm income. While precipitation and temperature explain most of the variability in crop yields, we find that the USDM captures additional negative impacts of drought on yields.
Fellow and VALUABLES Consortium Director
Senior Research Associate and GIS Research Coordinator
Common Resources — Sep 16, 2021
Supporting Communities with the Build Back Better Act
A bipartisan bill passed the Senate last month with major implications for US infrastructure. Now, the Senate and House are discussing a reconciliation bill to determine the federal budget and allocations for US infrastructure and other priorities.
Press Release — Sep 1, 2021
Resources for the Future Welcomes Two Fellows in August
Hannah Druckenmiller and Penny Liao join the RFF community of esteemed environment and energy scholars.
Press Release — Aug 25, 2021
Sea Level Rise Will Harm Coastal Wetlands in the Chesapeake—A Bad Sign for People and Property
Due to a combination of sea level rise and changing wetland distribution, even relatively weak storms in 2100 could have a greater impact on the Chesapeake Bay region than high-intensity storms today, new research in the journal Natural Hazards Review finds.