Support the news

A Closer Look At Crop Migration

This article is more than 5 years old.

Our Nov. 19 hour on the gradual northern greening of North America — and by extension, the world — focused heavily on the trek of a few key crops inching toward the Canadian border. In theory, that sounds pretty bizarre, but on paper, it straightens out.

USA Today offered up a couple of telling maps in a story on the issue from this September.

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data / Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA TODAY)
(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data / Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA TODAY)

Compare the above map with the average acreage of corn harvested from 2008 to 2012, as seen below.

Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)
Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

Corn harvests are slowly inching ever northward, changing the way much of the Midwestern corn belt region looks.

It's possible to trace a similar path with soybean harvests. Below, soy bean harvests from 1963 to 1967.

Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)
Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

And below, the same harvests from 2008 to 2012.

Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)
Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

What do you make of the changing trajectory of major crop harvests? Is it all a part of climate change, or a normal part of the North American continent's shifting crop yields? Leave us your thoughts below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

This program aired on November 19, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news