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 are reporting in late July.
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 say.
It’s the hottest, driest summer on record over a large portion of the state, but especially in the central, south and southwest regions, says Jose Pena, AgriLife Extension economist in Uvalde. He adds that rain in South Texas has been less than 4 inches since the start of the year.
Total crop losses estimated for the entire growing season include corn, cotton, grain sorghum, wheat, and miscellaneous crops. Current crop conditions reported by USDA are taken into consideration in estimating lost value, says Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grains marketing economist.