J.H. Grove1, E.M. Pena-Yewtukhiw2, and A.A. Marchi3
We often hear that Kentucky’s climate is quite variable. “If you don’t like today’s weather, just wait until tomorrow” is commonly said. But the current climate debate has serious implications for rainfed agriculture – corn, wheat and soybean need water to mitigate heat stress – and a changing climate could impact Kentucky’s air temperature, rainfall or both.
There have been numerous statements that climate has become more variable, subject to more extreme events, statements made in the local restaurant, the university classroom, and over the home dinner table. Recently, a grower asked: Have Kentucky’s corn yields become more variable with time?” The answer to that question is: “It depends.” What follows is the answer to that question.