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It is well recognized that at particular times in the growing season weather can be a critical determinant of crop yield. Here we report research which identifies those periods and quantifies their impact. This research can be useful in understanding the yield impacts of the often discussed and debated issue of climate change. A shift in climate may change the level and variability of temperature and precipitation in critical crop growing stages. To better understand how climate change would impact crop yields, identifying those critical growing stages and quantifying their impact on yield is important.