Sorghum for corn: Water in the age of climate change

  • Joy Youwakim Department of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • William Wolesensky Department of Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Keywords: Climate change, Water, Corn, Sorghum, Drought resistant, Water management


This paper discusses corn and sorghum growth in the United States with regard to moisture utilization. Current climate change research predicts changing temperature and moisture cycles in geographic regions employed for agriculture. This research project investigates crop management practices that may reduce irrigation needs while maintaining a food supply necessary to feed a growing world population under these predicted changes. By comparing the response of yellow field corn to red grain sorghum, we hypothesize that sorghum yields will be less affected by predicted changes in rainfall events and thus require minimal additional irrigation. To test our hypothesis, we vary the timing of watering events for two different patches of corn and sorghum. We find that sorghum is the more drought resistant crop, making it more suited to fare with the predictions of climate change and in the fight for a more food secure world.

How to Cite
Youwakim, J., & Wolesensky, W. (2018). Sorghum for corn: Water in the age of climate change. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society, 6(1), 51-56. Retrieved from