The numbers are in and last year's drought was the most costly in history. Texas suffered a huge hit, losing over 7.5 billion dollars. Our local area is also still reeling from the devastating effects.
Paul Thomas has owned Grapevine Farms since 2008. He is just one in a long line of familial produce growers. But 2011 was unlike anything him or the previous generations have seen before.
"We were pretty devastated last year," says Thomas.
And so was the state. Texas was hit hard with agricultural losses topping 7.5 billion dollars. Our area was no exception.
Robert Pritz, with the Taylor Country Agrilife Extension Office says, "We're looking at Taylor County alone, probably on the commodities side, we're looking at at least 20 million dollars of loss in commodities this past year."
Our local agrilife extension office is optimistic for the future, with short-term plans in place.
"But when that drought starts to linger on for more than a year, two years, three years, then it's a major, major player in our economy and its something that's very hard to recover," says Pritz.
Something Paul Thomas knows all too well.
Last year, owners here at Grapevine Farms expected 40,000 dollars in profit but were only able to turn around and sell 1,000 dollars worth of produce.
"We're a little bit ahead this year for rainfall this spring but, I'm not convinced at all. That this warm summer is not going to turn into a hotter summer."
A summer that could worsen the situation and potentially do more damage than what's already been done.