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.