As we feared, the worst single-year drought in Texas history has devastated our agriculture community to the staggering tune of $5.2 billion in losses, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
These losses exceed the previous record of $4.1 billion incurred during the drought of 2006 and can be attributed to the punishing combination of drought and record-setting temperatures that have caused hay shortages, dwindling herds and lost or severely damaged crops. The end result has been a dry spell that recently surpassed the one of 1918, making our current crisis the second-worst drought in the history of the Lone Star State.
These have been extraordinarily tough times for our farmers and ranchers, but you know what happens when the going gets tough — survivors always outlast adversity. While we are seeing the weathering on the faces and in the hearts of Texas farmers and ranchers, I’m confident the folks who provide us with safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the world will refuse to wilt beneath the brutal heat.
I continue to pray for rain in order to provide relief for our farmers and ranchers. May they continue to fight the good fight on behalf of all Texans who rely on their hard work every day.