Hurricane Harvey & its Impact on Texas Agriculture
This past week has been a rough one for Texas which received record breaking rain totals and destruction due to Hurricane Harvey. And agriculture wasn’t left out of the mix. Cotton, livestock, rice, corn and wheat were among those affected by the storm. Cotton in particular was struck hard and what is said to be at the “worst possible time”, as this year’s harvest was expected to be a great one. Thirteen of the 50+ counties declared as disaster areas by Texas Governor Abbott are cotton-producing regions. South Texas Cotton & Grain Association reported crop losses to be as high as $150 million and that’s before knowing the true extent of the damage. Rice harvested and placed in storage bins also succumbed high waters. Soybeans, wheat and corn have halted their exports as preparations for Harvey were being made.
Livestock is also expected to take a large hit. There are about 1.2 million beef cows within the disaster stricken counties that encompasses 27% of the state’s herd. There currently is not a number associated with lost livestock; however, there is assistance available to those with both live and dead animals. Texas A&M Extension specialist, Tom ‘Andy’ Vestal, recommends livestock owners to take photos, have a third party to verify death loss and file a claim under the USDA Farm Service Agency’s livestock indemnity program as this program reimburses producers for up to 75% of market value.
At Agrow, we sincerely extend our thoughts and prayers to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We will continue to keep you updated on options available to Ag producers during this trying time. As always in agriculture, we need to look out for each other.
Please see below for helpful contact information for something you or a loved one may be experiencing.
Resources for those affected:
Commissioner Sid Miller activated the State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund (STAR) to assist farmers and ranchers hit by Harvey. Ag producers in the counties declared disaster areas are eligible to apply for the cost-matching funds. For more information, please visit STAR Fund.
Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) Animal Response Operation Coordination Center is available for those who wish to volunteer, donate shelter or supplies for animals or to report live and dead animals for assistance.
Contact number: (512) 719-0799
TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) Hay Hotline is available to buy, sell or donate.
Contact number: (512) 463-9860
TDA approved a one-time blanket extension for the cotton stalk destruction deadline to 9/15/17 for all of Zone 2, Area 2, consisting of the northern portion of Kenedy County and all of Jim Wells, Kleberg & Nueces counties.
Visit www.texasagriculture.gov for all other updates as they come about.
“Texas Department Of Agriculture Responds To Hurricane Harvey.” (2017, August 29). Retrieved from https://thekatynews.com/2017/08/29/texas-department-of-agriculture-responds-to-hurricane-harvey/.
Dreibus, Tony. “Hurricane Harvey Wreaks Havoc on Texas Cattle as Ranchers Hope Flood Waters Recede.” www.agriculture.com, 2017. Web. (2017, August 28).