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The decade of the fifties will long be associated with rapid technological progress in agriculture and a period of increasingly burdensome surpluses. In 1961, an emergency feed grain program was established to reduce production. The outcome was greatly increased output per acre, resulting in almost as much feed grain production as in 1960 in spite of a 17 percent reduction in acreage from 1960 to 1961. Most observers attributed the increase in yield per acre to land selection and application of more fertilizer per acre. These were important factors, but there is evidence that weather was even more important in the increase in yield of corn per acre from 1960 to 1961. A statistical study of the Corn Belt states showed that weather in 1961 was more favorable for corn production than any year during the period from 1935 to 1961. The difference in weather was enough to account for two thirds or more of the increase in corn yields in the Corn Belt states from 1960 to 1961. This information was published as Technical Bulletin 12T by the Center for Agricultural and Economic Adjustment in 1962.

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Center for Agricultural and Economic Development, Iowa State University


Ames, IA


Agricultural Science | Agriculture | Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Climate

Weather and technology in the production of corn and soybeans