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Costliest Texas drought ever—and still not over

Costliest Texas drought ever—and still not over

By Gene Hall

All of us here in the Texas Farm Bureau office were guessing at what the new drought damage number released by Texas AgriLife Extension would be. None of us guessed high enough. On Wednesday, AgriLife pegged the damage resulting from the epic drought of 2011 at a record shattering $7.62 billion. Breaking it down—the big losers were the livestock sector, at $3.23 billion and cotton at $2.2 billion. However, there was not a crop anywhere in Texas that did not suffer from drought in 2011.

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What will it take to break this Texas drought?

What will it take to break this Texas drought?

By Gene Hall

I haven’t lived on the farm for 40 years, but I am still at heart a “farm boy.” 

Nothing that’s happened in my life could squeeze that out of me. And, for an old farm boy, there is not a more beautiful sight than the torrents of rain that battered my windshield as I drove to work yesterday. Add that precipitation to the 2 inches I poured from the rain gauge the night before and you have “significant rainfall,” enough to soak into our parched land and produce runoff for our sadly low ponds, tanks, lakes and rivers.

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Climate change to devastate agriculture? I don’t think so.

Climate change to devastate agriculture?  I don’t think so.

By Gene Hall

 We’ve all heard it. We’re only a few short years from climate change devastating agriculture. We’ll have food riots as soccer moms fight to the death over a can of beans. 

We used to call this global warming until the earth actually cooled a bit over the last decade. Now we call it climate change, but I won’t get into that disagreement. I’ll just concede for now that Mother Earth has warmed a bit over the last few decades. For growing food, it doesn’t seem to matter, because there is exactly zero evidence of a climate driven calamity for agriculture.

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Top ten signs you’ve seen too much drought in Texas

Texas Drought

By Mike Barnett (With a little help from my friends Curt Lancaster, Nathan Smith and Kelly Bogard)

With an extended forecast of hot and dry, this devastating drought in Texas is pushing farmers and ranchers to their limits. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Here are Texas Agriculture Talks Top Ten signs you’ve seen too much drought:

10. The windmill starts pumping dust.

9. The dry spell of the ‘50s seems like a pleasant memory.

8. You pick ticks off the fish before you scale them.

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A hurricane of a Texas drought

A hurricane of a Texas drought

By Lloyd Huggins

In an area stretching from Arizona to Florida, and from South Texas to Kansas, drought grips the land. It is being compared to the drought of the ’50s and the Dust Bowl. Texas and Oklahoma are in the eye of this rainless storm.

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