Evaluating Trend Changes in Annual Accumulated Growing Degree Days for Corn Grown in the Northern Plains, United States of America

By Badh and Adnan Akyuz.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Average temperature around the globe is increasing. Many agricultural areas in the Northern Plains of the United States have been able to grow crops which could not have been cultivated earlier. This can be attributed to accumulation of more growing degree units. Earlier studies conducted in parts of the Northern plains have shown an increasing trend of growing season length. State of North Dakota has had growing season length 12 days longer than it had a century ago. Corn as a crop has gained much from this increase in the growing season length, with the area planted in the Northern Plains for the grain nearly doubling in the last three decades. It is also gaining a lot of importance from farmers due to its gaining popularity as a source of food, fiber and fuel. This study demonstrated the accumulation of growing degree days (GDD) for Corn in the Northern Plains of United States. ASOS (Automated Surface Observing Systems) stations of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska were used to collect the data on the growing degree units, based on base temperature 50° F. Statistical results showed that annual accumulation of growing degree day’s units for corn grown in North Dakota is increasing over the past century while for Iowa it is decreasing and for rest of the states there has been no statistical change from the average mean for over hundred years.

Keywords: Growing Degree Days, Changing Climate, Northern Plains, Corn, Base temperature

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.127-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 720.522KB).


Phd Student, Department of Natural Resources and Management, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA

A PhD student in the department of Natural Resources and Management at NDSU. Her research work deals with the impact of climate change on the growing season and crop selection in the United states. Global warming is said to be increasing the average temperature of our globe. She is interested to work with the actual temperature data and predict how the temperature might change in the coming years and how will this effect the lives of the farmers in the United States.

Dr. Adnan Akyuz

North Dakota State Climatologist, Director of NDAWN and Assistant Professor, North Dakota Agricultural Weather Center, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA

Presently Dr Adnan Akyuz is the North Dakota State climatologist. He is an assistant professor at NDSU and also holds the position of the director at NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Weather) centre of NDSU. He has been earlier working as Climate Products Services and Outreach Specialist for the National Weather Service, NOAA and Adjunct Asst. Prof. at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He did his Post-Doctorate from Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia. He is involved in a lot of research work related to the impacts of climate change.


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