Mike Strain, Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry, thinks Southern farmers have a bright, if challenging, future.
"The future of agriculture in this hemisphere will be in the Southeastern U.S. because of the availability of water,” Strain says.
"Look at the amount of food that will need to be produced by 2030. We're going to need to make it happen in the Southeastern U.S. Many places around the world are having water shortages, but in the Southeast we're talking about using surface water as well as groundwater.”
There could be problems with supply, however. "Just on the Mississippi River, there are 150 dams on the tributaries. We have to make sure agriculture is first in line for that water,” Strain says.
"We have to seize the opportunity and stay involved,” he adds.