Alfalfa, which recently handed over its”Demon Crop” title to almonds, is really a far better crop in drought than common wisdom suggests, according to U.C. Davis’s Dan Putnam:
Contrary to popular belief, alfalfa has several unique positive biological properties and advantages when it comes to water. Due to these properties, alfalfa is remarkably resilient when it comes to severe drought conditions.
Among other things, Putnam argues that “deficit irrigation” – the ability to cut way back on water during the heat of a summer drought – provides important water management flexibility. The full piece is worth reading.