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Uri Storm to cost Texas Farmers Over $600 Million in Damages
USAgNet - 03/16/2021

Even though the winter storm hit Texas a month ago, the recovery process is ongoing. Some industries suffered greater losses than others.

While you might be able to see immediate effects of the freeze in dead fruits, vegetables and livestock right now, it will still take time to truly assess all the long-term effects of the winter storm on Texas agriculture.

"We estimate total losses over 600 million dollars, about 228 of that is in the livestock area. The rest is fruit and vegetables, so that's where we see some longer-term losses, because freezes of this magnitude damage the trees. So you may lose fruit that was ready to be harvested now, but you may [also] have tree damage that could take some years to replace those trees," said Texas A&M Agrilife Extension professor Dr. David Anderson.

Livestock and agriculture industries feed off of each other and damage to one sector can affect the other negatively.

"In large parts of Texas, cattle graze wheat over winter, and same with oats." Dr. Anderson said. "So we always look for some damage in those so essentially, the losses we estimate to over $200 million, that is in grazing, due to damage in wheat and oats for grazing. Some of it is sharply feed costs to feed out on the range with cows.”

In addition, many calves are usually born in February. With the storm occurring during this time of year, many were not able to survive.

The Rio Grande Valley lost almost 60% of the grapefruits they produced this season. Several other cold season vegetables including celery and cabbage also suffered huge losses.

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