Climate change could provide the warmer weather that many insects prefer, leading to an increase in populations that feed on corn and other crops, according to a Purdue University study.
The researchers say that warmer growing season temperatures and milder winters could allow some of the insects to expand their territory and produce an extra generation each year, leading your grower-customers to purchase more crop protection products. Yield losses and increased input costs are the biggest cost for corn production.
“The greatest potential range expansion was seen with the corn earworm, which is known to infest other high-value crops such as sweet corn and tomatoes,” says Noah Diffenbaugh, the Purdue associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who led the study.
Corinne Alexander, a Purdue ag economist, says a reduction in corn yields could have substantial economic and social impacts, including higher food prices and reduced food supply.