Thursday, June 30, 2011

The drought in Texas and Oklahoma continues

The drought that has plagued Texas and Oklahoma, which we've covered previously (here and here), continues.  According to a story from yesterday's Wichita Falls' Times Record News, this is the worst drought this century.  Farmers are losing their crops and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 213 Texas counties as primary natural disaster areas.
Local longtime rancher Robin Pinkman said the area farming community is in "horrible, horrible shape" — the worst he has ever seen.
"I got a friend who owns a cotton farm that if you put your hand in his dirt, it feels like powder or flour," he said. "You can pull dirt up and see the original cotton seeds planted a long time ago, because they just never germinated."
Another recent report, citing the U.S. Drought Monitor (see image and table below), explains that most of Texas is suffering from either severe or exceptional drought conditions.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 50 percent of the state remained in what is termed an "exceptional" drought, which means a once in 50-year occurrence. More than 90 percent of the state was experiencing either a severe or exceptional drought. Only parts of north central and northeast Texas were not at least abnormally dry as of May 31.
It may not be the worst drought ever, but lifelong farmers throughout the state are telling Texas AgriLife Extension Service agents this is the driest they've ever experienced.


Read more after the jump.

With the extraordinarily dry conditions, many Texans will not celebrate a traditional Independence Day holiday on Monday.  Wichita Falls has postponed its 4th of July celebration until Labor Day, and other fireworks shows have been canceled.

Meanwhile, Independence Day in Elliot's hometown of Santa Clarita will consist of all the usual activities, including a Rotary Club breakfast, a 5k run, a parade, and a fireworks show above the mall.

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