Drought intensifies across the Lone Star State

Drought conditions across the Lone Star State persist, posing significant challenges for farmers and ranchers.

“It’s very hot. It’s been very hot for close to a month now without much relief,” Russell Boening, Texas Farm Bureau president, told RFD-TV. “It’s dangerous for people and for livestock, and we have to take precautions.”

The prolonged dry spell has resulted in depleted water sources, dry pastures and limited forage for livestock.

With a wet spring, however, most ranchers were able to cut some hay to help replenish their supplies after last year’s devastating drought conditions.

Ranchers also are taking extra steps to monitor their livestock, ensuring they have plenty of feed and water to stay cool.

“The cattle are doing okay. It’s a matter of keeping them comfortable and having access to good water and good shade, and trying not to move them around when it’s too hot,” Boening said. “Shade and water are of the utmost importance in this heat.”

Temperatures across the state have reached over triple digits for multiple days.

“Ranchers remain resilient across Texas as drought conditions intensify,” Tracy Tomascik, Texas Farm Bureau associate director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities, said. “They are taking proactive measures managing their herds’ nutrition, providing supplemental feed to maintain optimal health and ensuring water is easily accessible for their livestock.”

Harsh conditions also pose risks to farmers and ranchers themselves. Exposure to extreme heat and prolonged sun exposure can lead to health hazards. Farmers and ranchers are prioritizing safety measure like wearing protective clothing, staying hydrated and scheduling work during cooler hours of the day.

According to the latest Water Weekly drought report from the Texas Water Development Board, dry conditions have spread throughout the state for the seventh consecutive week, leading to over half the state suffering from drought.

Despite unrelenting drought conditions, farmers and ranchers remain hopeful for rain.

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