Remember when Wichita Falls, Texas experienced 100 days of heat over 100 degrees? Unfortunately this rare heat wave is expected to return in full next year.Forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are already anticipating more drought this winter and next year, so residents should brace themselves for another year with minimal rain, intense winds, unbearable heat and plenty of economic losses.
This year’s drought hurt economy and jobs in Texas a lot more than the recession, especially in the agricultural sector. A multi-year drought of this magnitude would cause immense short- and long- term damage. Texas is the nation’s leader in cotton and beef production, and both have been heavily hit this year.
In the short-term, Texas farmer’s might have another disastrous year growing corn, wheat, rice, and cotton. This past year, Texas suffered $8.7 billion in agricultural losses. Farmers are hesitant to plant seeds this fall, but continue to do so with a little hope for rain and a lot of faith in their crop insurance plans.
In the long-term, the drought put a strain on cattle numbers and beef production. Beef prices are the highest they’ve been since 1984. Ranchers are selling off their cattle in record numbers. Over 500,000 top-bred cattle may be slaughtered because there is not enough grass or feed to keep them alive.
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