In four stark, well written, and honest articles, Chris Clayton of DTN Progressive Farmer chronicles the devastating agricultural impacts of the Texas drought, and its causes (click titles for full articles):
Drought Challenges Assumptions: Even Irrigators Find Themselves Abandoning Productive Fields (by Chris Clayton DTN Progressive Farmer)
EXCERPT: Economists at Texas A&M have pegged this drought as the most expensive in the state’s history with about $5.2 billion in agricultural losses so far. Farmers in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas are not faring much better.
No Winter Wheat Without Rain: Farmers May Be Faced With Sowing Crop in Dust (by Chris Clayton DTN Progressive Farmer)
EXCERPT: Farmers in Texas typically would be planting winter wheat in late August, but with no rainfall and fragile soil conditions, seed-bed preparation and wheat planting are just non-existent across most of the state.
Climate Questioned, Drought Certain: Scientists See Climate Impacts in Agricultural Losses (by Chris Clayton DTN Progressive Farmer)
EXCERPT: As Texas Gov. Rick Perry argues the science of climate change is questionable, the state climatologist in Texas says the current historic drought that has caused an estimated $5.2 billion in agricultural losses is more intense as a consequence of climate change.
Texas Drought Prompts Culling: Ranchers Face Few Options With No Forage (by Chris Clayton DTN Progressive Farmer)
EXCERPT: “It’s a sad situation here. I’ve never seen it like this and I’m 59 years old and I’ve never seen it like this,” said John Graves, manager of the livestock auction. “They talk about the drought in the ’50s but I was just a kid then.”…The Amarillo area averages about 14 inches of rain through mid-August, according to the National Weather Service. It’s had about 2.6 inches this year.