Non-irrigated agriculture is very susceptible to the changing climate conditions impacting crop yield results. The data in this study finds consistent results with respect to a changing climate altering crop yields. A multivariable regression analysis will later be used in order to determine the total impact of the changing climate upon non-irrigated agriculture. The first variable analyzed was the final snowmelt date. The results find that counties that reside in either the lower or panhandle portion of the state show consistent correlations, implying that the snowmelt date and crop yields mutually increase or decrease. The counties within the top of the state reveal more negative correlations, leading to earlier snow melts and resulting in increasing crop yields. Counties within the lower parts of the state show more positive correlations, illustrating that earlier snowmelts lead to declines in crop yields. Building upon the findings of Kunkel and Pierce (2009), this study suggests that non-irrigated crop lands in lower regions are susceptible to lower yields while cropland in higher regions will continue to see improved yields.
Dr. Jen Pierce