Texas Drought Continues

The drought in Texas that has crippled agriculture across the state shows no sign of abating. The drought began in October, quickly engulfing the entire state. Over 90 percent of Texas is currently experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions, conditions which have continued with no relief for months.

The severity of the drought has had deep consequences across the state. The financial losses alone have been devastating. At the present, Texas has lost over $5 billion due to crop failures. Entire fields of cash crops have withered and died and the prospects of a late season planting are looking increasingly grim.

In addition to crop farmers, Texas cattle ranchers have lost about $2 billion. Across the state, ranchers are selling their cattle, unable to afford or acquire the water needed to keep their livestock alive. The drought has also sent the cost of hay skyrocketing, adding another cost to an already struggling industry.

The severity of the Texas drought has led many to reconsider state agricultural policy. While some towns have weathered the drought thanks to access to large underground aquifers, towns that rely on rivers and streams are running dangerously low on water, forcing many to rely on long-term drought restrictions. Currently, the state is debating legislation to offer tax incentives to farmers that implement water conservation policies. In addition to tax breaks, the state is pouring money into agricultural research, particularly the development of drought resistant crops.

Overall, the situation in Texas highlights the need to rethink currently debated agricultural policies, specifically the importance of scientific research, as well as the necessity of conservation programs that help preserve the natural resources that agriculture depends on. As Congress meets to reduce federal spending, farmers across the country can only hope that they keep lessons of the Texas drought in mind.

To learn more about Texas farm loans and agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting .   

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer