Texas is still suffering from the worst drought in its history. The drought, which began in April, has held the state in its grip for months, withering crops, killing livestock, and threatening the economic sustainability of the state’s agricultural sector.
Texas is frequently wracked by poor weather and drought conditions. Previous to this year, the worst drought occurred in 2006 and cost the state over $4 billion in lost revenue (overall, Texas agriculture is a $100 billion industry). However, many state agricultural officials fear that this drought could top the 2006 losses. In 2006 the drought was contained in the southern part of the state. This most recent drought, however, is impacting over 90 percent of the state, leading many to worry about record financial losses.
The damage report is already staggeringly high. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released estimates for Texas’s 2011 crop harvests. Cotton production is expected to be over 40 percent lower than last year (particularly bad news since cotton is one of Texas’s most lucrative cash crops). Corn is expected to drop by 41 percent, while wheat, along with soybeans, will be down by over 60 percent.
In addition to crop losses, Texas’s cattle industry is feeling the squeeze. Given their excessive water requirements, many Texas cattle ranchers have found themselves forced to sell their herds.
In response to the drought, Farm Service Agency officials have visited Texas while pledging their support. FSA Administrator Bruce Nelson has pledged that the agency will offer its full support in helping farmers through this rough time.
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