Texas Drought Losses Reach $3.6 Billion

Lack of rainfall and record triple-digit temperatures have scorched crops and rangeland throughout parts of Texas causing drought losses to reach $3.6 billion, Texas AgriLife Extension Service economists reported Monday.

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By the end of the year, losses could exceed $4.1 billion, the loss estimated in Texas in 2006, if sufficient rainfall isn’t received to revive crops and forage, economists said.

It’s the hottest, driest summer on record over a large portion of the state, but especially in the central, south and southwest regions, said Jose Pena, AgriLife Extension economist in Uvalde. He said that rain in South Texas has been less than four inches since the start of the year.

Total crop losses estimated for the entire growing season include cotton, corn, grain sorghum, wheat, and miscellaneous crops. Current crop conditions reported by USDA are taken into consideration in estimating lost value, said Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grains marketing economist.