WHEAT VARIETIES, TECHNOLOGY, CLIMATE & YIELD: AN ANALYSIS USING WSU'S WHEAT VARIETY TEST DATA AND INTERPOLATED WEATHER RECORDS
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Data from the WSU wheat variety test program along with spatially interpolated historic weather records present a unique opportunity to compare wheat variety performance across time and Washington State geography. A key assumption in this analysis takes wheat variety to be genetically constant year-over-year. This assumption allows us to separate breeding versus farm-level productivity gains. Furthermore, across the wide variety of climate regions within Washington State, productivity gains can be measured for different climate regions, allowing a unique contribution to the body of literature attempting to differentiate the various technology contributions to farm productivity.Analysis of breeder contributions to wheat productivity gains are then applied to state-wide USDA productivity data and determine the economic benefit provided by the wheat variety improvements to average $1.8M per year (2010 dollars).Finally, a close analysis of wheat variety response to moisture is combined with results from ten global circulation models to make long-range predictions on Washington State wheat productivity for the 30 year average 2020-2050, expecting wheat growing regions in Eastern Washington to remain consistent with current trends while the East Central agriculture district will see modest gains compared to the other districts.