Thursday, August 27, 2009

100-degree heat, drought, killing Texas cattle

It's not Maryland's weather, but it's important weather news. The deepening drought in Texas, particularly South Texas, is withering rangeland, killing cattle and posing real hardship for ranchers who did not sell off their herds early enough.
"We've had 2 inches of rain in a year's time," said Sammy Gavito, AgriLife Extension agent for Duval County, west of Corpus Christi. "We're about 22 to 23 inches below normal for the year. There isn't enough for them to eat, and it's very hot. We've had almost 50 days in row of almost 100 degrees. That's a record for us down here."
He estimated that the ranchers he spoke with had lost 3 to 5 percent of their herds already, and many of the rest are too skinny to sell at a profit.