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Federal, state agencies offer help during drought


As the growing season progresses, hot, dry conditions prevail over much of Texas causing crops, pastures and rangeland to wither, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.

"We're actually experiencing quite a reversal in rainfall patterns in some areas with some rain falling on the normally dry western parts of the state while the traditionally wetter eastern portions are suffering severe drought conditions and prolonged 100-degree heat," said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomy leader at College Station. "More than 70 percent of the state is in one stage or the other of drought."

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said current dry conditions are adding more headaches to the state's already overburdened agricultural producers.

"Texas farmers and ranchers are some of the most resilient people I have ever known," Staples said. "Our producers have been hit hard with a triple threat starting with Hurricane Ike, then with our nation's current economic calamity, and now one of the worst droughts our state has seen in years.

"We hope God will bless us with moisture to relieve some of the pressure facing our producers," Staples said. "While we wait, state and federal agencies are working together to offer assistance and I urge producers to take advantage of these critical resources."

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