El Niño expected to benefit US agriculture

Jun 17, 2014 by Lindsey Elliott

(Phys.org) —A Kansas State University senior agricultural economist says there's a 70 percent chance an El Niño will arrive this fall—and that's good news for the United States.

Jay O'Neil, an instructor and specialist at the university's International Grains Program, says what happens with El Niño will affect worldwide . El Niño, which is the warming of the sea temperatures off the coast of Peru, is expected to affect crops during September, October and November.

"El Niño is generally favorable to crop production in the United States because it brings extra rain and moisture into the core crop-growing areas," O'Neil said. "We're just coming out of a four-year drought cycle in the United States and we'd like to get back to what we call trend-line yields and big crop production so there's plenty for everybody."

Better crop production in the U.S. would also mean lower food prices. However, other countries would experience harsher growing conditions because of El Niño. O'Neil says South America is expected to be dryer than usual, which would have an impact on the global food market.

"If South America goes dry, that would affect next year's production worldwide," O'Neil said.

Explore further: Brazil, China, India, South Africa in push for climate financing

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pace of climate talks far too slow: UN chief

5 hours ago

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that negotiations on climate change were moving too slowly and urged governments to quicken the pace ahead of the December conference on reaching a new global ...

Justices rule against EPA power plant mercury limits

8 hours ago

The Supreme Court ruled Monday against the Obama administration's attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants, but it may only be a temporary setback for regulators.

Food for thought: Use more forages in livestock farming

8 hours ago

Small-scale livestock farming in the tropics can become more intensive yet sustainable if more and better forage is used to feed the animals being reared. This could benefit farming endeavours in rural South ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.