We investigate the link between agricultural productivity and net migration in the United States using a county-level panel for the most recent period of 1970-2009. In rural counties of the Corn Belt, we find a statistically significant relationship between changes in net outmigration and climate-driven changes in crop yields, with an estimated semi-elasticity of about -0.17, i.e., a 1% decrease in yields leads to a 0.17% net reduction of the population through migration. This effect is primarily driven by young adults. We do not detect a response for senior citizens, nor for the general population in eastern counties outside the Corn Belt. Applying this semi-elasticity to predicted yield changes under the B2 scenario of the Hadley III model, we project that, holding other factors constant, climate change would on average induce 3.7% of the adult population (ages 15-59) to leave rural counties of the Corn Belt in the medium term (2020-2049) compared to the 1960-1989 baseline, with the possibility of a much larger migration response in the long term (2077-2099). Since there is uncertainty about future warming, we also present projections for a range of uniform climate change scenarios in temperature or precipitation.
Farmers will reap a record corn crop for a sixth consecutive season in 2012, slowing a slump in stockpiles of livestock feed as global meat demand approaches a quarter of a billion metric tons.
Production will rise 4.8 percent to 867.5 million metric tons in 2011-12, curbing the drop in inventories to 0.8 percent, the smallest decline in three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. With harvests expanding from Argentina to China, prices will fall as much as 31 percent to $4.305 a bushel in Chicago trading next year, according to the median of 24 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.