Through August of 2011, AgriLife Extension economists previously reported $5.2 billion in drought losses. The following are updated drought losses for 2011 by commodity with previously reported loss estimates from August in parenthesis:
Livestock: $3.23 billion (up from $2.06 billion);
Lost hay production value: $750 million (no change);
Cotton: $2.2 billion (up from $1.8 billion);
Corn: $736 million (up from $409 million);
Wheat: $314 million (up from $243 million);
Sorghum: $385 million (up from $63 million);
The following are summaries by specific commodities:
Livestock – Losses due to the 2011 drought are estimated to be $3.23 billion. The estimate includes the previously reported $2.06 billion in August.
“Losses include the increased cost of feeding livestock due to the lack of pastures and ranges, and market losses,” Anderson said. “Market losses include the impact of fewer pounds sold per calf and the impact of relatively lower market prices due to the large number of cattle sold in a very short time period.”
Cotton – Texas cotton growers faced unprecedented impacts from drought in 2011, according to Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension Service cotton marketing economist.
“In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a relatively low average cotton yield of 636 pounds per harvested acre, which they subsequently revised down to 557 pounds per acre by December,” Robinson said. “In Texas, cotton growers saw a historically-high acreage abandonment of 55 percent of planted acres. Compared to five-year average yields and abandonment, 2011 represents a huge loss in potential production.
“Applied to USDA’s measure of 7.57 million planted cotton acres in Texas, and valued at USDA’s projected price of 91 cents per pound, this loss adds up to $2.2 billion (up from the August estimated loss of $1.8 billion). It is noteworthy that $1.8 billion is also the 10-year average total value of cotton lint and cottonseed production in Texas. Therefore, Texas cotton growers lost more market income in 2011 than they would normally make for an entire cotton crop.”
Grains and Hay – The drought of 2011 lowered grain production in Texas to about half of normal levels and is estimated to have cost wheat, corn, and sorghum grain farmers in Texas over $1.4 billion.
“Recent production revisions by the USDA lowered harvested acres and yields, and resulted in a doubling of the August loss estimate of $600 million,” said Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension Service grains marketing economist.