Wheat – Since August, USDA lowered the number of Texas wheat acres for harvest by another 100,000 acres. Texas wheat production in 2011 was 49.4 million bushels compared to a five-year average of 92.4 million, down 47 percent, according to Welch.
“Wheat yields were down from a five-year average of 30 bushels to 26 bushels per acre and abandonment is up,” he said. “The five-year average of wheat planted acres that are harvested for grain is 50 percent; 36 percent of planted acres were harvested in 2011. That reduced the number of wheat acres for harvest by over a million compared to normal years. The combination of yield losses and reduction in harvested acres put Texas wheat for grain losses at $314 million.”
Corn – Compared to the August estimates, Texas corn harvested acres have been reduced by more than 100,000 acres and yields cut from 112 bushels per acre to 93, Welch said. Texas corn production is now an estimated 136.7 million bushels compared to a five-year average of 255.4 million, down 46 percent.
“Harvested acres are down 23 percent due to higher abandonment rates, and yields are down 30 percent statewide,” Welch said. “The combination of yield losses and reduction in harvested acres put Texas corn for grain losses at $736 million.”
Sorghum – Since August, Texas grain sorghum harvested acres have been reduced by an additional 150,000 acres. Texas grain sorghum production is estimated at 56.4 million bushels compared to a five-year average of 119.5 million, down 60 percent.
“The 1.6 million acres planted in the Spring of 2011 was the fewest in Texas’ history,” Welch said. “Then the drought further lowered yields and raised abandonment rates. The combination of yield losses and reduction in harvested acres put Texas grain sorghum losses at $385 million.”
Hay – The value of hay production lost due to the drought is estimated to be $750 million. The lack of rain throughout the year led to the lack of hay to harvest.
“Corn stalks, grain sorghum, and wheat stubble from either failed grain crops or post-harvest residue is often baled during drought years, as was commonly done in 2011,” Anderson said. “The quality of these feeds is often very low, and its value is commensurate with its quality. Although, in years like this even the lowest quality feeds are used along with other supplemental feeds.”
Timber -The historic drought took a severe toll on trees across the state. The commercial timber forested area of East Texas was among the hardest hit, said Burl Carraway, Texas Forest Service department head for sustainable forestry. An estimated $558 million of standing merchantable trees (diameter of 5 inches or larger) on forestland in East Texas have succumbed to the drought.