Volume 28, Issue 10 p. 1399-1407
Research Article

El Niño—Southern Oscillation influences on soybean yields in eastern Paraguay

Clyde W. Fraisse

Corresponding Author

Clyde W. Fraisse

Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0570, USA

Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0570, USA.Search for more papers by this author
Victor E. Cabrera

Victor E. Cabrera

New Mexico State University, USA

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Norman E. Breuer

Norman E. Breuer

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, USA

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Julian Baez

Julian Baez

Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, Paraguay

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Jaime Quispe

Jaime Quispe

Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza, Bolivia

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Edwards Matos

Edwards Matos

Ministerio de Medioambiente, República Dominicana

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First published: 06 November 2007
Citations: 29

Abstract

Soybean (Glycine max. L. Merrill) production in Paraguay has increased dramatically during the last decade and the country is now the fourth largest soybean exporter in the world, producing about 3% of the world's soybean production. This paper explored associations between soybean yield in eastern Paraguay and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases. Historical soybean yield data from official government sources were detrended to remove the effects of technological advances, and yield residuals were computed. In addition, differences in mean precipitation among ENSO phases were investigated under the context of crop development phases. The CSM-CROPGRO soybean model was used to simulate soybean development for two locations representing the most important soybean producing areas in Paraguay. Influences of ENSO phases on mean precipitation during planting and blooming, blooming and seed podding, and from young pods to physiological maturity were explored through tests of differences in the central tendency. Relative yield residuals during El Niño years were positive six out of seven events and varied from − 9.4 to + 24.2% for the 1991/1992 and 2002/2003 cropping seasons, respectively. During La Niña years, calculated residuals were negative for three out of four events and varied from − 37.9 to + 1.5% for the 2005/2006 and 1988/1989 cropping seasons, respectively. Analysis of precipitation records showed significantly lower precipitation levels between planting and blooming during La Niña years than during El Niño years. Differences in mean precipitation during blooming and beginning of seed formation were found to be not significant. Mean precipitation between seed podding and crop maturity was found to be significantly lower during La Niña years than during El Niño years in one of the locations studied. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society