Agricultural losses from a drought in Texas are about $1.5 billion and may climb, said David Anderson, an economist at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, part of Texas A&M University.
Damage will “get quite a bit larger as we get further into the growing season, and we see what those losses are on cotton, grain sorghum and the corn crop,” Anderson said today in a telephone interview from College Station, Texas.
The preliminary estimate covered November through May 1, Anderson said. Most of the losses were related to higher costs for livestock feed after animals were unable to graze on pastures, he said. Wheat production also declined.
Texas is the biggest cattle-producing state in the U.S. and ranks fifth for wheat output. It’s also the biggest U.S. cotton grower.