KETR Local
10:26 am
Mon August 15, 2011

Professor issues bleak forecast due to drought


– As the severe drought continues, we're getting a clearer view of just how negative the implications will be down the road.

Dr. Travis Miller is a professor in the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University. Speaking on last week's edition of The Lead, Dr. Miller said that while crops are being severely affected now, the drought may set some ranches back a few years.

"(The) Biggest impact will probably be beef. We are the largest beef producer by far in the United States. We're selling off the herd so that the cash crop that will be produced next year won't be produced. They've sold those cows and they've made hamburger out of them."

Dr. Miller also notes that businesses supplying those farmers and ranchers will also feel the effects, perhaps even more.

"Because if you're a crop producer you're eligible to buy crop insurance and most of them do and they'll have some kind of income stream. But with everybody failing to grow a crop; selling farm equipment and fertilizer and everything that goes on the farm is going to be very limited. And there's no insurance policy for that."

Texans are comparing this drought to the worst on record in the 1950's. Now they are facing another intense drought that could drag on for at least another year.