Skip to content

James Taylor: Record Farm Yields Contradict Climate Doomsayers’ Claims

January 15, 2020

By Paul Homewood


From Breitbart:


U.S. and global crop production continue to set new records, even as climate activists ramp up a campaign to convince people that climate change is decimating crop production and forcing farmers out of business.

The latest misinformation was spread by Politico. Politico in October published an article titled, “‘I’m standing right here in the middle of climate change’: How USDA is failing farmers.” On December 9, Politico followed up with an article titled, “How a closed-door meeting shows farmers are waking up on climate change.” The October article claimed “American farmers are reeling” from extreme weather caused by climate change. The article also complained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not devoting more money toward climate change programs. The December article asserted horrible “destruction wrought by catastrophic weather this year.” The article placed the blame on climate change and then trumpeted efforts to change government agriculture policy to focus on climate change.

The Politico articles generated substantial attention from the media echo chamber, including Google News searches for “climate change” placing the Politico articles at the top of search results. Unfortunately for climate activists – but fortunately for farmers and the rest of us – the climate change crop scare is pure fiction.

Presenting crop data collected by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Economy website documents that U.S. crop yields are enjoying excellent short-term, mid-term, and long-term growth, with new records being set almost every year. According to the USDA publication, “Crop Production Historical Track Records,” the past three years produced the three highest U.S. wheat yields per acre in history. The past five years produced the five highest U.S. corn yields and the five highest soybean yields per acre in history. U.S. and global crop production are a story of steady growth and almost yearly new records as the Earth modestly warms.

Even with the “catastrophic weather this year,” the USDA projects this year’s corn, soybean, and wheat yields to each be among the top six years all-time. Also, much of the problematic “catastrophic weather” occurred as part of early-spring snowstorms and late-fall snowstorms, which will continue to become less frequent and severe with ongoing modest warming.

At the global level, the UN Food and Agriculture’s “World Food Situation” website documents the same strong, consistent crop growth globally, with new records being set virtually every year.


The UN global crop production data is particularly helpful getting to the bottom of claims that climate change is a major factor in people attempting to enter the United States from Central America. NBC News, for example, published a July 2019 article titled, “Central America’s choice: Pray for rain or migrate.” The subtitle read, “Ravaged by drought, farmers in rural Honduras and Guatemala live on the edge of hunger.” The article placed the blame for drought, crop failures, and resultant migration on global warming.

UN Food and Agriculture data, however, show Honduras and Guatemala are enjoying long-term growth in crop yields per acre, with record crop yields being set throughout the past decade. The same holds true for Mexico and nearly every other country in Central America.

Ultimately, more atmospheric carbon dioxide has the same beneficial impact on farm production as it does in greenhouse growing facilities. Also, warmer temperatures bring longer growing seasons and fewer devastating frost events. U.S., Honduran, Guatemalan, and global crop data show that climate activists are telling tall tales when they assert that climate change is causing global or regional crop devastation. The proof is in the objective crop production data.

  1. Jackington permalink
    January 15, 2020 12:49 pm

    Again we hear it from people who know what’s really going on – modest warming is a good thing!

  2. Athelstan. permalink
    January 15, 2020 12:59 pm

    Listen, I think that mankind’s ingenuity will always triumph, necessity is indeed: the mother of invention.

    That said, I worry about such as soil mechanics. Pulling more crops out of the ground using advanced fertilization and insecticide technique, I fear will instigate a great cost, we are not sure how to reinvigorate exhausted soil. Albeit that, the science of such as Hydroponics and such produces much hope, providing that, sufficient water is available and that begs another set of problems and with sufficient dosh, even the desert can be made to bloom.

    • HotScot permalink
      January 15, 2020 2:45 pm


      Take consolation in, no one can irrigate frozen ground.

      Perhaps if we get a bit more warmth, billions of acres across Canada and Russia might be released from the grip of permafrost and areas intensively farmed elsewhere might get rested.

      Add in the benefits of increased atmospheric CO2 which helps plants grow faster and larger, increases their drought and pest resistance, and allows them to be grown in areas hitherto difficult to farm and the world is suddenly a better place.

      The fact is climate change is being looked at back asswards. In the winter of 2017/18 there were 50,000 Excess winter deaths in the UK.

      In the 2017 ‘Unprecedented’ summer Indian heat wave, 22 people died from the heat.

      If we had more warming, fewer people in colder climes would die, and if hotter countries developed cheap, reliable electricity from fossil fuels, life would pretty much go on as usual.

      However we do know that any warming will really take place in the winter, and at night in colder climes, leaving warmer countries much less affected.

      Then there’s all that nice CO2 from burning fossil fuels to feed all those nutritious plants farting cows like so much.

      See….Easy when you know how. 🙂

  3. Gerry, England permalink
    January 15, 2020 1:49 pm

    The problem is that the climate does change and is changing but the term ‘climate change’ has been subverted by the alarmists to mean ‘human-induced’. So Politico is correct to say that a changing climate has caused the bad weather but not due to the cause they think. The appearance of Rossby Waves on the jetstream is a sign of solar minimum and not a tiny increase in a miniscule trace gas in the atmosphere. Yes, USDA should be looking at how to keep the crop yields coming as the climate cools and the jetstream meanders bring rapidly changing weather.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 15, 2020 2:10 pm

      Gerry, we must not let the alarmists get away with this. It is not the ‘climate causing bad weather’: the climate is the result of the weather – bad or otherwise – and, 30 years’-worth at that..

  4. January 15, 2020 4:43 pm

    But it WWWWIIIIILLLLL. That’s the money statement. Maybe not now, but it WIIIIIILLLLL.

  5. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    January 15, 2020 5:31 pm

    “American farmers are reeling”

    A few American farmers had weather related problems in 2019. Note the word few.

    The USA and Canada have many climate types and frequent weather events. Being a very large area means most of North America will do well even if a small area has a bad year.
    Farmers, orchardists, wine-growers, and ranchers have to be optimists and adaptable.

    The folks in the Washington D. C. area (Politico) regard most of North America as “fly over” country. They could not tell the difference between potatoes and Alfalfa when looking at the growing plant, nor Concord grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon, nor corn from Sorghum.

    Bottom line: We’re fine.

  6. Ian Wilson permalink
    January 16, 2020 8:04 am

    The graph of cereal yields seems to show a small decline over the last couple of years, though possibly not statistically significant. I recall a paper by Alan MacRae a few months ago in which he suggested climate may have started COOLING, citing as evidence, inter alia, later US crop sowing dates due to lower temperatures. He acknowledged this might be weather rather than climate but perhaps food for thought? He has been predicting since 2002 that the climate peak would come around 2020 followed by cooling.

    • January 16, 2020 9:42 am

      I think that might be the “stocks” column you are looking at Ian?

  7. Charie Flindt permalink
    January 16, 2020 9:58 am

    Some thoughts on demonising cattle for their CO2 emissions…

  8. Arthur Clapham permalink
    January 16, 2020 10:55 pm

    I have lived in the Cambridgeshire Fens for my whole life,I have seen crops of Cereals, Potatoes, Sugar Beet,and all Agricultural Produce double and treble in the last few years.
    As a young boy during the WW 2 there were only 7or8 tractors in the Village, hardly any cars. ( I could roller skate on the main road) Petrol was strictly rationed. People going to work cycled or walked. Our record breaking crops obviously thrive on CO2.
    I operated a Road Transport business for 40 years, a large proportion of our Traffic was Agriculural Produce.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: