Corn, cotton, hay, rice all down: how California farmers are responding to drought

California farmers by now have a pretty clear picture of what their water supply situation is going to be this year, whether it’s reservoir and irrigation system surface delivery, or groundwater pumping. The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released projected acreage for the state’s major field crops (pdf) that reflects farmers’ resulting choices:

  • corn: 430,000 acres,down 17 percent
  • cotton: 155,000 acres, down 27 percent
  • hay: 1.23 million acres, down 11 percent
  • oats: 120,000 acres, up 9 percent
  • rice: 408,000 acres, down 6 percent
  • winter wheat: 430,000 acres, down 7 percent