Texas' record 2011 drought has been deemed "the most costly drought in history" according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service economists.
Updated total losses for the Texas agricultural section totaled $7.62 billion in 2011, with commercial timber losses adding another $669 million to the total.
“2011 was the driest year on record and certainly an infamous year of distinction for the state’s farmers and ranchers,” said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension livestock economist in a press release.
Economists say the record 2011 totals were more than $3.5 billion higher than the previously most-costly drought in 2006.
“The 2011 losses also represent about 43 percent of the average value of agricultural receipts over the last four years,” Anderson said.
“No one alive has seen single-year drought damage to this extent,” said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist and a member of the Governor’s Drought Preparedness Council.
Livestock ($3.23 billion) and cotton values ($2.2 billion) made up the bulk of the losses for 2011. Hay, corn, wheat, and sorghum were also listed as posting significant losses from the drought.