The Texas AgriLife Extension Service estimates that extreme drought conditions have led to a record $5.2 billion in agricultural losses, a number that surpassed the $4.1 billion record set in 2006. Due to the lack of water, grass, and hay, many in the cattle industry are selling or thinning their own herds, or paying extremely high prices for livestock feeds. Otherwise, they risk watching the animals starve.
Ponds that were built to hold significant amounts of water for cattle are dwindling away under the hot temperatures, dry winds, and lack of rain. Many ponds, such as the one shown above in Rusk County, Texas, were nearly dry by late June 2011.
For more on climate conditions in summer 2011, see Drought in the Southern United States.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo.