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Big rains put only small dent in Texas drought

Big rains put only small dent in Texas drought

By Mike Barnett

Blessed rains fell over much of the state this week, but Texas is still in hot water in terms of drought and water resources.

Rains statewide—which ranged from a trace up to 6-8 inches in parts of Central and West Central Texas—were a short-term fix for Texas farmers and ranchers.  Hot temperatures are forecast to return this week, and two to three weeks without rain could pretty much put us back where we started.

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Storm’s aftermath offers lessons on crop insurance

Storm’s aftermath offers lessons on crop insurance

By Mike Barnett

Total devastation visited Fleming Grain and Cattle Company Thursday evening. The storms that rolled through Texas that day damaged and destroyed thousands of acres of corn and wheat on several farms in Bell and Falls counties and other parts of the state as well.

The year started with promise for farmers like Robert Fleming. His crops looked good. It was a bit dry, however, and he was optimistic for the moisture Thursday’s cold front would bring. He didn’t bargain for the pea-sized hail driven by straight-line winds that peppered the crops like a mini-machine gun.

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Federal stay prevents flight of Texas water rights

Federal stay prevents flight of Texas water rights

By Regan Beck

We know that Texas water is a precious resource. We’ve watched our pastures dry up and crops wither following the epic drought we’ve just endured (and continue to see, in many parts of the state). But one U.S. District Court judge wants to restrict our water even more.

U.S. District Court Judge Janis Graham Jack recently sided with an environmental group in its case against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the San Antonio River Authority, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Texas Chemical Council. The case accuses the agencies of water management practices that led to the deaths of 23 whooping cranes.

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Putting food prices in perspective

Putting food prices in perspective

By Gene Hall

Here in Texas, we nervously watch the skies and the weather reports to see if we can get a clue as to how much rain we’ll get soon and even later on. When a Texan tells you, “What a beautiful day!,” chances are it’s raining.

What does this mean for food prices? I get asked that all the time, and the truth is, I don’t know. It won’t surprise you that I do have an opinion. I think we’ll be okay. Not perfect, but okay.

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Brownwood flushed over water recycling proposal

Brownwood flushed over water recycling proposal

By Mike Barnett

The certainty for Texans of fresh, unlimited and cheap water is being flushed down the toilet as the recent (and current) drought has left many cities high and dry in a search to provide for their residents.

A growing realization that we must act now to ensure future supplies has cities like Brownwood considering a water treatment system that will recycle what goes down the bowl through the faucet in the kitchen sink.

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