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Dissecting the Macro-scale Variations in Mexican Maize Yields (1961-1997)

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This paper offers a macro-scale view of maize production in Mexico. It provides the quantitative association between interannual variability in maize yield and fluctuations in seasonal rainfall. It also highlights trends in production variables, and shows that significant trends are present in many of Mexico's state-level rainfall series. The study presents a three-variable model relating yield to rainfall variations. Analysis of model residuals indicates a tendency for nonrandom serial behavior, particularly in the 1990s where the model consistently underestimates yield. This result is consistent with the major geographic shift in maize cultivation from the traditional, rain-fed production core to states in the Northwest. Here, maize production is largely irrigated so that yields presumably are less sensitive to climate fluctuations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-05-01

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