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Initial Texas ag loss estimates exceed $600 million

By
Tad Thompson

Winter Storm Uri, which blasted through the entire state of Texas in mid-February, caused at least $600 million in agricultural losses, according to preliminary data from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural economists.

“A large number of Texas farmers, ranchers and others involved in commercial agriculture and agricultural production were seriously affected by Winter Storm Uri,” said Jeff Hyde, AgriLife Extension director. “Freezing temperatures and ice killed or harmed many of their crops and livestock as well as causing financial hardships and operational setbacks. The residual costs from the disaster could plague many producers for years to come.”

AgriLife Extension estimates of some of the state’s biggest agricultural losses by commodity were:

  • Citrus crops: At least $230 million.
  • Livestock: At least $228 million.
  • Vegetable crops: At least $150 million.

Another sector that experienced significant losses was the green industry. AgriLife Extension, in collaboration with the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, developed and distributed a loss assessment survey to more than 4,000 nursery, greenhouse and other green industry-related businesses requesting input on the type and extent of losses encountered. It will be several weeks before there is sufficient data to provide an assessment of those losses.   

Monty Dozier, AgriLife Extension program director for disaster assessment and recovery, said the data related to agricultural losses was acquired through the agency’s extensive statewide network of agents and specialists.

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