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Posted Wed May 11 2011: from Southwest Farm Press, via DesdemonaDespair:
Texas/Southwest gripped in drought; crops 'pretty much shut down'
Crop and forage production has "pretty much shut down" due to severe to exceptional drought conditions, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service statewide crop expert. "If you look at the U.S. drought monitor, about 26 percent of the state of Texas is an exceptional drought," said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension program leader and associate department head of the soil and crop sciences department, College Station. "Exceptional," means it is a one-in-50-year occurrence, Miller explained. Much of the rest of the state was in what's classified as moderate, severe, or extreme drought. The distinctions are being based largely on how much damage and losses are expected to crops, forage production, livestock and water sources, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor classification scheme.... "But statewide, it's a pretty grim picture," he said. "And it's not just Texas; it's New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and parts of Arkansas. It's an exceptional drought across a big area." Corn along the Gulf Coast is stunted and tasselling early, Miller said. "It's in a lot trouble."
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