Severe Drought Threatens Texas Agriculture

Texas farmers are anticipating small yields this year due to an ongoing severe drought, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

The drought began in October 2010, parching hundreds of thousands of acres and causing the worst one-year dry spell in Texas history. Since then, at one time or another, more than 75 percent of the state has experienced “exceptional” drought—the most severe classification.

At the end of the 2011 summer, a global drought map created by the University College London showed Texas at the epicenter of the largest, most severe drought on the planet.

One of the drought’s most devastating results was a massive wildfire in Bastrop. The blaze was the worst fire in Texas history. It burned for more than a month, devouring 1,500 homes and damaging more than 34,000 acres, including most of Bastrop State Park.

The drought is also causing severe agricultural losses, including about half of Texas’s cotton yield last year. Monetary losses are estimated at more than $5 billion so far, with this year’s crop damage yet to be tabulated.

L.G. Raun, chairman of the Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group, said the lack of water is both an immediate and a long-term concern: “Agriculture is more than 10 percent of our state’s economy. We’re going to have to create more supplies of water, we’re going to have to do a better job of conserving water, or we’re not going to have water enough for this state in the next 50 years. We’re starting to feel that right now,” Raun said.

God promises the modern-day nations of Israel that if they will obey His commandments, He will bless them with “rain in due season.” Leviticus 26 says that this rain will cause the land to yield its increase and the trees to yield their fruit. God also says that He will use His power over the weather to allow devastating droughts and other curses if these nations refuse to obey Him. For more information about why we experience weather problems, read “Why Natural Disasters.”