Excerpted from the Environmental Impact of Missouri Crop Production report

Changing climate, more intense storms

Missouri farmers have been adopting reduced tillage practices and cover crop plantings, which lead to reduced erosion. These practices are likely to increase in importance if the number of daily rainfall events exceeding 3 inches continues to rise. The graph below tracks extreme rainfall events from 1895 to 2017. Extreme rainfall events create field runoff that can remove substantial amounts of soil from a field. Missouri Climate Center analysis indicates that the number of 3-inch rainfall events averaged 20 events during the past 30 years. That exceeds the long-term average of 17 by three.

Missouri extreme (greater than or equal to 3 inches/day) rainfall events, 1895–2017

Missouri extreme (greater than or equal to 3 inches per day) rainfall events, 1895–2017
Source: NOAA/Missouri Climate Center