Drought Losses in the Billions for Texas Agriculture

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Drought in Texas has scorched crops and rangelands, resulting in damages that could exceed $4.1 billion by the end of 2009, Texas Agrilife Extension Service reported Monday.

The agency estimated total crop losses so far this year at $2.6 billion. In addition, livestock losses of about $974 million since November 2008 have also hit the industry.

“Extreme or exceptional drought conditions for the second year in a row and prolonged weather with over 100 degree temperatures have devastated agricultural crops and livestock operations, especially in central and South Texas,” said Carl Anderson, Agrilife Extension economist.

Anderson added that the affected area covers about 40 percent of Texas.

“Texas ranchers are continuing to deal with scorched pastures, record-setting high temperatures and empty water tanks as the drought continues to take its toll,” Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) President Dave Scott said.

“Rainfall in a large part of South Texas has been less than four inches since the start of this year,” said Jose Pena, Agrilife Extension economist. “Range and pasture conditions are in poor or only fair conditions over more than 85 percent of Texas.”

Read more here and here

Sources: Agrlife and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA)

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