TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas drought is having a big impact on the people who grow the food we eat.
According to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, crop losses across the state have not only hurt farmers but also had a negative ripple effect far beyond the farm.
“It is having the net result of losing billions and billions of dollars to our economy, which is impacting jobs,” said Staples.
Staples says the year-long drought is taking an unprecedented toll on farmers and ranchers. “Not only our crop production in Texas, but [the drought is] having a devastating impact and harsh realities for livestock producers.”
The arid conditions are so bad that Texas has been looking to other states for help. “We’re hopeful that other regions of the country will have bumper crops to offset our losses,” explained Staples. “Our cotton crop and production had just been devastated. Our corn has been devastated. Many producers now are looking forward to fall wheat planting and the forecasts are just not favorable.”
With many ranchers importing hay from other states to feed their herds Staples says their costs have been driven up, while production is down.
July was the hottest month ever in Texas, beating the previous record by two full degrees and the heat wave is evident everyday to those working in agriculture. “These conditions that are so severe, and they’re unprecedented and historic in nature, are just leaving producers and rural economies in dire need.”
According to John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, there is no record of there ever being so little rainfall during the primary growing season for crops.