The total value for the Texas wheat crop this year is currently $274 million, about half of the five-year average of $555 million, Welch said.
“The low harvested percentage is compounded by several factors in addition to the drought,” Welch said. “Record-high calf prices increase the value of wheat for grazing, especially if grain production prospects are poor, and record high cotton prices offer incentives for producers to terminate poor stands of wheat in hopes of producing a high value cotton crop.”
Uncertainty remains in place for Texas’ cotton crop, said Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension cotton economist.
“Given the regular occurrence of dry weather in West and South Texas, and the late planting date in West Texas, it’s not unusual to be facing uncertainty about the level and condition of cotton plantings in the state. As the West Texas crop is not usually planted until May, there’s still time for conditions to change.”
Corn and sorghum are lacking adequate topsoil moisture for seed germination and deeper subsoil moisture to sustain crops that are up. Nearly all of the districts in Texas have more than 90 percent of the acreage topsoil moisture rated either short or very short.
Late-planted corn is suscepitble to mold infestation and aflatoxin contamination (a fungus that affects corn).
“The impact of high levels of aflatoxin range from discounts in price to the requirement to destroy the grain altogether,” Welch said.
The following is a list of economic drought losses from 1998 through 2009 compiled by AgriLife Extension economists:
* 2009 – $3.6 billion
* 2008 – $1.4 billion
* 2006 – $4.1 billion
* 2002 – $316 million
* 2000 – $1.1 billion
* 1999 – $223 million
* 1998 – $2.4 billion