Increasing food production without using additional water and land resources could be possible through further developments in irrigation and water engineer, plant breeding and gene editing, and innovative management of things like heat and sunlight.
The Bureau of Reclamation only plans to allocate 50,000 acre-feet of water to Klamath Basin farmers this year, a drought-inspired move that has producers concerned about the 170,000 acres of cropland they hoped to irrigate.
In water-strapped states like Texas, producers are using irrigation to reap the benefits of cover crops. Producers in other states, while not directly irrigating cover crops, see a benefit in the water requirements of their cash crops.
A three-judge panel has ruled that farmers do not have special privilege to water for irrigation use, handing a victory to the Imperial Irrigation District in a long-standing legal battle with farmer Michael Abatti.
Trade remains the top concern for American agriculture heading into 2020, with looming uncertainty about whether the Chinese will make promised increases in commodity purchases, and whether President Donald Trump will provide another round of trade assistance to U.S. producers.