Genetics versus energy costs

Either this continues today's Kansas theme, or this week's genetics theme. In either case, it's nice to see some attention to agricultural genetics and its growing connection to energy economics, in this Times article:

Like his father and grandfather before him, Mr. Kepley grows wheat. But energy costs that have quadrupled in three years, along with one of the worst droughts to grip the region in a century, have made it too expensive for him to irrigate. So today Mr. Kepley grows wheat under dry-land conditions, capturing rainfall for two years to make one year's crop.
"These are called semi-dwarfs," he said while surveying his burnt-looking wheat stalks one recent afternoon. Our geneticist started developing this. Generally our wheat will be about knee-high when it is harvested. It doesnt use much energy in developing the stalks.

The theme is that pumping water has become more and more expensive with increasing energy costs, and farmers are looking for improved draught-tolerant breeds to help compensate. It's not a cure, since productivity and diversification both are improved with irrigation, but it can be a more economical solution as irrigation becomes more expensive.