Results of original data from crop monitoring on four Hopi maize (Zea mays) fields bear implications regarding the use of agricultural labor, crop yields, and successful agricultural strategies to compensate for drought-induced production deficiencies. Production data from three years of drought and one of moderately moist conditions suggest that the intensity of crop predation and the labor necessitated by crop protection increase with severity of drought. If true, this indicates that increasing the surface area of production (extensification) alone would not compensate for drought-induced deficits in many areas. It also suggests that compensation for crop yield deficiencies might be best achieved by improving conditions for crop production in small areas (intensification) that are easily protected by farmers. In conjunction with geomorphic and hydrologic factors, this phenomenon may have influenced the strategies adopted by prehistoric farmers. Acceptance of these implications will require future hypothesis testing.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2