Oct. 6 (UPI) — Peak grain has already passed for several High Plains states, according to a new survey of groundwater depletion across the region.
To more accurately predict future grain yields, researchers looked at the relationship between levels of water extraction from the Ogallala aquifer and the amounts of grain harvested in each state over the last 50 years.
Researchers adapted analysis techniques previously used to study the relationship between peak oil production and peak grain production. The research team detailed the results of their analysis in a new paper, published Tuesday in the journal PNAS.
“We were inspired by insightful analyses of U.S. crude oil production,” lead study author Assaad Mrad, doctoral candidate at Duke University, said in a news release. “They predicted a peak in crude oil production a decade in advance.”
The new analysis showed Texas and Kansas reached peak grain in 2016. Grain yields in