Texas drought losses in billions - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas drought losses in billions

Agriculture officials in Texas say preliminary numbers show that the worst drought in decades has brought $1.5 billion in losses related to livestock, wheat, corn and sorghum crops.

Lubbock financial planner Mark Bass says that loss will affect more than just the agricultural world. "It has a major ripple effect throughout our economy," said Bass. "People don't think it impacts us here inside the city limits of Lubbock, but it does because it deals with wages, it deals with employees and their jobs, and so it's a serious loss."

Bass says if that $1.5 billion were put into the economy it would multiply as it circulates going from pocket to pocket. So theoretically the economy is losing several billion not just the $1.5 billion.  "If that is true then a store may have to reduce its employee's hours, or have to lay off employees, or the price of goods may go up," said Bass.

Lubbock saw a good crop year in 2010, and Bass says money from last year is still circulating in the economy. "That's helped a little, but you couldn't have two years back to back like we're having now. That would be a very serious impact on our economy," he said.

If drought conditions persist into June, officials in the nation's second-largest agricultural producer say losses will easily top the 2006 record of $4.1 billion.

Livestock losses of $1.2 billion are from costs associated with trucking in water and for supplemental feed since November.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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