"The drought is rearing its ugly head again. Things are not too shiny around the state. The wheat crop is beginning to pucker up pretty good,"said Travis Miller, a drought expert for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service."
"For now, one year after a record Texas drought caused $7.62 billion in agricultural losses, 6 million acres of winter wheat are the biggest concern. Forty to 45 percent of the crop is rated poor to very poor, a 15-point jump from last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported.
"If it weren't for the dew it would all be gone. We're just sitting here waiting and hoping it's going to rain," the 71-year-old rancher said as he surveyed hundreds of acres of sparse wheat fields that are dotted with dried up or depleted stock tanks and bordered by parched pastures of native grasses.
And that's after battling a plague of grasshoppers this summer.
"I say we are in year three of a drought now and the short-range forecast is not promising. There's nothing out there that will distinguish this from the drought of record in the 1950s which lasted six or seven years," Nielsen Gammon said.
"It's grim, it looks like Texas is going to have between the second- to fourth-driest October-November period on record," he said. "We're ahead of the drought pace from two years ago."
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