Record Agricultural Yields Should Allay Climate Fear

By Vijay Jayaraj

Countries all over the world are surpassing previous records for production of food crops. This is good news that stands in stark contrast to the apocalyptic picture that the media paints daily in reports on climate and weather.

Because food is fundamental to human survival, even a slight increase in its price can significantly affect millions – even billions – of people. “When food fails, everything fails,” said Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chair of the CEO Alliance on Food, Nature and Health.

So, it is not surprising that the purveyors of fear present climate change as the biggest threat to the world’s food security. Endlessly recycled articles and TV programs constantly peddle the misinformation that a supposedly dangerously warming Earth poses a risk to crops or is already destroying them.

However, in the real world, data show historically high crop production all over the globe. This is because climate change has aided in the proliferation of food crops, as well as other vegetation. Abundant harvests continue to affirm this. As in previous years, 2023 is expected to produce records for agricultural production in many countries.


Wheat is a major source of calories, protein and essential nutrients, and it is relatively easy to grow and store. A reliable source of food in many regions, wheat is the staple crop for an estimated 35 percent of the world population.

After a year of supply uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine, wheat production is slated for a global increase. In the UK, for example, wheat production in 2022-23 is expected to increase by 450,000 tons from the previous year. In the U.S., winter wheat has been planted across nearly 37 million acres, up by 11 percent from the prior year and the highest in eight years.

In Africa, Zimbabwe produced a record 375,000 tons of wheat in 2022, making the country self-sufficient. The new record is 13 percent higher than the previous year and surpasses 50-year-old records. This saves the country 300 million dollars that otherwise would have been spent on wheat imports.

India is second only to China in wheat production. The Indian government reports that wheat production will reach an all-time high of 112 million tons in the 2022-23 crop year.

“The prospect of the wheat crop is better due to current weather conditions and slightly higher acreage,” The Economic Times reported..

In fact, globally, there has been a steady increase in yields of wheat as measured in tons per hectare, with some of the highest being in China.

Wheat Yields

Crop yields in the 21st century have been increasing due to a combination of factors. Among them are the use of modern technologies, the development of high-yielding crop varieties through plant breeding and genetic engineering and the application of fertilizers.

Nonetheless, the level of production would not have been possible without the post-Little Ice Age warming of the earth since the 18th century and the modern increase of atmospheric CO2.

Greater warmth has allowed for longer growing seasons and the cultivation of a wider variety of crops. Higher CO2 concentrations have helped plants to photosynthesize more efficiently, resulting in increased growth and crop yields.

Even in the worst-case scenarios of alarmists, where temperatures rise sharply, global agriculture can adapt through genetically advanced food crop varieties that are resilient to extreme droughts and high temperatures.

There is simply no reason for alarm over climate’s impact on global food production either today, next year or in 100 years. In fact, climate is aiding crop growth and helping the world to feed growing populations.

This commentary was first published at Daily Caller, January 21, 2023, and can be accessed here.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK and resides in India.

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Ron Long
January 24, 2023 2:14 am

Good report by Vijay, and it illustrates two important things the CAGW loonies never talk about Mitigation versus Adaptation as regards sea level and weather, and simply planting earlier and harvesting earlier regarding agriculture. Never mind the Reality that humans cannot control climate changes, they can adapt, if necessary by Natural Selection.

vinceram
Reply to  Ron Long
January 24, 2023 3:01 am

good point. fossil fuel use itself is an “adaptation” to climate change.

Richard Greene
Reply to  vinceram
January 24, 2023 3:31 am

Humans have adapted to climate change for about two million years. And most of those years were without air conditioning, fans, indoor plumbing, indoor bathrooms and electric blankets!

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 24, 2023 6:33 am

There IS a reason to be concerned about Climate Change affecting crop growth.
In most cases CC Will positively affect crop production levels (positive = increased)
While Climate Change Policies will negatively affect crop production by eliminating the use of Nitrogen based Fertilizers as well as reducing available atmospheric fertilizer levels

vinceram
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 24, 2023 7:16 am

until modern times, the human condition was as perfectly described by Thomas Hobbs: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. So, are you asserting that you would rather live in another age?

Brad-DXT
Reply to  vinceram
January 24, 2023 8:30 am

Solitary, poor, brutish, and short life is what the new world order has planned for the majority of humanity.

The Great Reset demands you get back into your pod and eat your daily ration of bugs.

Hivemind
Reply to  Brad-DXT
January 24, 2023 4:11 pm

And if you don’t like bugs, we have plenty of Soylent Green.

AndyHce
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 24, 2023 1:20 pm

And most of those years were without air conditioning, fans, indoor plumbing, indoor bathrooms and electric blankets!

So humans should give up all those advantages because they seem to be able to survive without them?

wilpost
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 24, 2023 2:21 pm

Yes, that is correct, but about 10,000 years ago, 6,000 years before Stone Henge, about 5 million humans on this world were living in thatched huts and caves, hunting animals and fishing, wearing animal skins for clothing, sewn together with tendons.

That changed for a small veneer of elites, aka nobles, and their knight mercenaries, while 99% of others were living in squalor until plentiful fossil fuels came along in the 1870s.

Ian Bryce
January 24, 2023 2:39 am

No doubt increasing carbon dioxide would have been an other factor in the increased tonnes/hectare.

Bob Hunter
Reply to  Ian Bryce
January 24, 2023 2:31 pm

Bigger factors are improved technology, farming practices, plant improvements (dwarf wheat as an example)

Last edited 4 days ago by Bob Hunter
strativarius
January 24, 2023 2:40 am

“Record Agricultural Yields Should Allay Climate Fear”

And if there was a modicum of honesty in the media and politics on the issue, they would. But…

“how the climate crisis is causing food shortages”
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/28/climate-crisis-food-shortages

“Global food supplies will suffer as temperatures rise – climate crisis report
Politicians around world continue to respond to report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/10/global-food-supplies-will-suffer-as-temperatures-rise-climate-crisis-report

“We know that climate change affects all sorts of things – and one of them could be our food supply.
At the moment, around 40% of the country’s food is imported.”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/49725155

So, what do they do to bring more UK soil under the plough to reduce that dependence on imported food?

“The 4.2 mile (6.76km) Mallard Pass Solar Farm”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cd1vx4p679lo

“The government has pledged to relax restrictions on building onshore wind farms in England after a threatened rebellion from Conservative MPs.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-63880999

So, you can grow more food whilst simultaneously taking land out of production for wind and solar and rewilding. 

It’s pure doublethink. Surely, others get that? Conservative MPs are in it for the money.

PCman999
Reply to  strativarius
January 24, 2023 9:45 pm

“how the climate crisis is causing food shortages”

IS????!#!#!

Does the Guardian have an ethics panel or other such ombudsman to complain to when the newspaper has obviously been lying?

Matt Kiro
January 24, 2023 3:18 am

The author shouldn’t say that yields are increasing because of climate change. Slightly warmer temperatures, higher CO2 ,expanded use of fertilizer and diesel farm equipment are the reasons for the increase.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 24, 2023 5:33 am

“The author shouldn’t say that yields are increasing because of climate change.”

I agree with you.

I don’t think the author is linking climate change to CO2, but one can get that impression from the way it is written.

I think the author is linking climate change (warming) to increased yields, and separately, is linking CO2 to increased yields, not linked to any warming, but due to the fact that increased CO2 in the atmosphere enhances plant growth all on its own..

Last edited 4 days ago by Tom Abbott
John Hultquist
Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 24, 2023 9:31 am

Innovations were important, and labor-saving — two articles:
A thing of the past: Check row planters – Farm and Dairy
Corn: Now and Then (kenyon.edu)

in the 1950s, I helped husk field corn with a piece of deer antler and remove the kernels one ear at a time (with a hand-cranked tool). Search images with the following:
husking corn with hand tool

Richard Greene
January 24, 2023 3:24 am

When I see a Vijay Jayaraj byline, I’m almost certain his article will be on my daily list of the best dozen climate science and energy articles I recommend on my blog every day of the week. This article is no exception.

Vijay usually provides new insights about Asia. Today he pointed out that Climate Howlers make this claim: “So, it is not surprising that the purveyors of fear present climate change as the biggest threat to the world’s food security”

I realize that Climate Howlers make data free predictions of doom as a habit, but with all their false predictions I try to refute, I didn’t realize food security was a popular subject.

The data on food production contradict such claims and more CO2 in the atmosphere can only improve plant growth.

It seems there is no limit to Climate Howler false claims about climate change.

The Howlers will make climate change claims that contradict their own government data, confident the media will never fact check them and confident that most of the general public believes government bureaucrat scientists, and government granted scientists, only speak the gospel.

These delusions apply to masks to prevent disease (false) and the false claim that Covid vaccines are safe and effective. And the Mexico border is not open to anyone, and any drug, that wants to waltz into the US.

Lying is the normal way for leftists — they can’t help themselves. Truth is not a leftist value, and never was. Censorship is a leftist value, along with scaremongering on a variety of subjects, where the “solution” is ALWAYS more government.

Honest global warming chart Blog: Links to the best climate science and energy articles I read today, January 24. 2023 (elonionbloggle.blogspot.com)

Last edited 4 days ago by Richard Greene
vuk
January 24, 2023 4:33 am

With global overheating carring at current pace, the Antarctica would be only suitable place for high yield agriculture. Just few more ‘Londons’ calving off and we are almost there.
Out with the old, in with new iceberg metric
“Massive iceberg almost the size of Greater LONDON breaks off Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf – just 12 MILES away from Britain’s Halley research station”
Mathattan is so 2022.

James Snook
Reply to  vuk
January 24, 2023 2:47 pm

And “Wales” distinctly twentieth century.

spetzer86
January 24, 2023 4:38 am

Once they’ve taken away all the nitrogen fertilizers we’ll just see how those crop yields come out. A lot of pain already in the pipeline for foolish countries…

Rod Evans
Reply to  spetzer86
January 24, 2023 6:38 am

The Alarmists and their ubber wealthy funders/controllers know, crop yield improvements over the very period they want to declare a Climate Crisis, gives the public a very adverse attitude to their Alarmist doom monger preferred narrative.
To resolve this very good outcome in crop yields over the past fifty years, the Alarmists are demanding a ban on all synthetic fertilizer produced using fossil fuel. Basically, that is a ban on all fertilizer. The impact of their (climate alarmists) latest demand, is complete collapse of the food chain/ The test run has been seen in Sri Lanka recently.
The Climate Alarmists have already successfully convinced governments across the Western world to ban secure energy supply. The result of that effort, will be poverty and hypothermia for many old people in the Northern latitudes. The effect of their fertilizer ban and then farming ban to follow, is death from starvation for millions.
That is what is being proposed by these so called Eco Warriors.
We must resist their malign objectives at every turn.

Elliot W
Reply to  Rod Evans
January 24, 2023 12:32 pm

I notice that at the same time fertilizers are being banned those same countries are trying to do away with farm animals, which, of course, provide alternative fertilizer. Ergo, the prohibitions are actually about cutting food production and bankrupting farmers.

AndyHce
Reply to  spetzer86
January 24, 2023 1:25 pm

They can start using the bodies as fertilizer until a balance is achieved. Remember the stories about planting a fish with each grain of corn to help the harvest?

Last edited 4 days ago by AndyHce
JamesB_684
January 24, 2023 6:15 am

The people at WEF / Davos will be very disappointed by this news. More food means less leverage and less control for them.

You vil eat ze bugs!!

ResourceGuy
January 24, 2023 6:45 am

The Gore Effect is only matched by the CBS-Ehrlich Effect.

Rud Istvan
January 24, 2023 7:23 am

This is a direct consequence of rising CO2. Only three crops are C4: sugar cane, maise, and sorghum. All the rest —including wheat, rice, soybeans, all fruits and vegetables, alfalfa— are C3 and directly benefit from rising CO2 levels.

antigtiff
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 24, 2023 7:40 am

I try to avoid wheat…corn…rice….due to lectins….we need more sorghum,,,and millet.

AndyHce
Reply to  antigtiff
January 24, 2023 1:27 pm

Surely you aren’t having difficulty finding enough?

Steve Case
January 24, 2023 7:40 am

“Greater warmth has allowed for longer growing seasons and the cultivation of a wider variety of crops. Higher CO2 concentrations have helped plants to photosynthesize more efficiently, resulting in increased growth and crop yields.”
_____________________________________________

Besides warmer weather, longer growing seasons, and CO2 greening of the earth,

There will be more precipitation. IPCC AR4 Chapter 10 page 750

There will be more arable land. Hardiness zones have shifted northward Link

Last edited 4 days ago by Steve Case
John Hultquist
Reply to  Steve Case
January 24, 2023 9:43 am

Hardiness zones? Shift? Not where I live.
I have lived in central Washington State since 1989. I don’t know where that map comes from but it is not representative — and it doesn’t say what the criteria are. Some maps use average low. That’s not appropriate. There is no proper legend. Here is a better one:
AHS-Heat-Zone-2048×1309.jpg (1920×1227) (grimmsgardens.com)

Steve Case
Reply to  John Hultquist
January 24, 2023 12:18 pm

Thanks for the link. It took a little bit to find a decent then and now hardiness zone and it would have been great to find a then and now blinky. Any way, as we all know, climate does change and it sure does look like those 8 zones have gotten wider and shifted northward into Canada. In other words, it looks like there is more arable land in North America than there was ten years ago.

old cocky
Reply to  Steve Case
January 24, 2023 2:04 pm

Besides warmer weather, longer growing seasons, and CO2 greening of the earth,

What else have the Romans ever done for us?

lanceman
January 24, 2023 8:46 am

How did Russia and Ukraine go from grain importers from the west when they were part of the USSR to being ranked among the largest grain exporters at a time when we are told climate change will supposedly destroy agricultural productivity?

John Hultquist
Reply to  lanceman
January 24, 2023 9:45 am

The Soviets pretended to pay the growers and the growers pretended to work.

Graham
Reply to  lanceman
January 24, 2023 9:54 am

A warmer climate allows for earlier planting of crops.
As Vijay Jayarai shows quite graphically that climate change is not affecting cereal production .
Looking at his graph there has been a steady increase in yield for 60 years.
Improved crop varieties have helped and also far better and bigger machinery has helped to get crops planted at the right time .
Increasing CO2 levels have also helped and also a far better range of herbicides to control weeds if left unchecked will severely suppress yield .
By far the largest increase in yield is because of the use of nitrogen fertilizer .
That is a fact that Green peace and the Green parties refuse to acknowledge.
The graph that Vijay has supplied starts in 1960 which was when the use of Urea and Diamonium Phosphate was first introduced to the farming world .
Nitrogen fertilizer grows food to feed 4 billion people on this planet and Green Peace is fighting to get nitrogen fertilizer banned .
Let you be the judge of what is the biggest threat of creating a world wide famine ?
Climate change or Green Peace .

Loren Wilson
Reply to  lanceman
January 24, 2023 12:15 pm

That was entirely the difference between the motivation farmers had under communism and a free market.

Bob
January 24, 2023 5:41 pm

Very good.

Peter C.
January 25, 2023 11:41 am

Would you like fries with your order of bugs? Well we call them fries…um….anyway here they are.

old cocky
Reply to  Peter C.
January 25, 2023 12:34 pm

Oh, you wanted FRIES. Sorry, we only have flies.

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