Texas ag losses could set new record amid drought

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Drought has spread over much of the southern U.S. this year, leaving Oklahoma the driest it has been since the 1930s and setting records from Louisiana to New Mexico.

But the situation is especially severe in Texas, which trails only California in agricultural productivity. About 70 percent of Texas rangeland and pastures are in very poor condition, which means there’s been complete or near complete crop failure or there’s no food for grazing livestock.

Economist David Anderson says the crop and livestock losses could be the worst the state has seen — perhaps twice the previous single-year record of $4.1 billion set in 2006.

The losses come as strong global demand and already tight supplies have helped push up prices for commodities like corn, cotton, wheat and beef.

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