When the rain hits: Can the drought really be blamed for the mountain dews?
When you think the drought has been bad for your crops, think again.
Researchers from the University of Washington, the University at Buffalo and other universities have found that drought conditions actually increase crop yields in some cases.
In their paper published online in the journal Science Advances, the researchers looked at the drought in seven areas of the eastern United States.
They found that some areas saw double-digit increases in crop yields.
The researchers also found that these drought-induced increases were accompanied by increases in water-use by farmers.
“We found that during drought, drought-associated crop yield increases can result in the use of less water for irrigating crops, and the use is much higher in areas with high rainfall and drought,” said study co-author David Burt, an agricultural economist at the University At Buffalo.
Burt’s research focuses on how drought impacts crops and the water cycle.
The study was conducted over five years.
“In this case, we were able to take the data over a long period of time and see what happens during a drought,” he said.
“The key thing is that we did a lot of work with soil moisture and the amount of precipitation that was coming down from the sky and what that means is that when there’s a drought, we have to start thinking about the drought as something other than just rain and drought.”
Burt said the findings are consistent with what we’ve seen in the past.
“The main difference with this drought is that it’s not something we saw in the last 30 years,” he explained.
“This is not something that we saw with the last five years or 10 years.”
Bust said that while there have been changes in crop yield in drought areas, it’s important to understand how drought affects crop yields at a macro level.
“It’s really important to look at a country’s agriculture and see how the farmers are responding to the drought,” Burt said.
“This is really important, because if farmers can understand how the drought is impacting their crops and understand how it impacts the water supply, that will help them be able to respond more effectively to drought in the future.”
The drought is part of a long-term trend, said Burt.
He said it could be expected to increase the severity of future droughts.
“I think what we’re going to see is that as this drought continues, we’re probably going to be seeing more severe droughting, and it could lead to crop losses as well as other impacts,” he added.
“That’s what we need to understand and we need more research on that.”Read more: