May 12 (Southwest Farm Press) – The Texas Farm Bureau board of directors, meeting in its regular quarterly session at its headquarters in Waco, Texas, issued the following statement of urgency:
As wildfires in Texas continue a rampage across more than two million acres, another major disaster is gripping the Lone Star State. Dry weather has a stranglehold on all but a small portion of Texas.
Almost the entire state is officially classified in drought—much of it as extreme or exceptional. The seven-month period from October of 2010 to April of this year is officially the driest on record. May is usually our wettest month. Except for a few isolated areas, rain has refused to fall.
Texas farmers and ranchers are in an extremely critical situation as we prepare for June and the hot summer months. Crops are shriveling in the field. Pastures are burning. Many farmers likely will have little or nothing to harvest. Some ranchers already are selling their herds.
The irony is that Texas farmers and ranchers entered 2011 with great hope. Crop and livestock prices were high. Texas agriculture was looking forward to a great year. Instead, we’re facing a situation that could be more devastating than the drought of 2009, when farmers and ranchers suffered direct losses of $4 billion. …
What will help most is steady, abundant moisture. Farmers and ranchers ask all Texans to join us as we pray for rain.