Texas Crops and Dollars Dry Up

Texas suffers from billions of lost agricultural dollars as the drought continues. A new report released today shows the state has already lost three-point-six billion in crops and livestock. Laurie Johnson reports.

Texas is the #2 agriculture state, behind California. Commodities from crops and livestock alone represent a $20 billion dollar industry.

Dr. Carl Anderson with the AgriLife Extension office at Texas A&M University says losses this year could exceed $4 billion.

"Given the losses that we have had to surmount this far in the year, we would expect that unless we get some very soaking rains and some unexpected moisture that we're not looking at now long-term, this will be one of the most intense droughts and that's going to be the most severe since the 1950's."

This is the second year of drought  with 55 Texas counties having no measurable rainfall.

"When you have two drought years in a row it's a very severe financial stress on the farmers and ranchers. And we'll find that many of them will be looking for some outside jobs, part-time jobs."

Anderson says the most severely hit areas are across the southern tier of Texas.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...