Texas agricultural losses hit $7.62 billion

By: BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press
By: BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - Texas agriculture officials say the historic drought has caused record-breaking crop and livestock losses estimated at $7.62 billion for 2011.

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service's latest estimate is $2.42 billion higher than what was provided in August. Agency spokesman Blair Fannin gave The Associated Press the data on Wednesday before it was publicly released.

In August, the extension service's preliminary estimate of $5.2 billion already topped the previous record of $4.1 billion in 2006.

Texas' long history with droughts has been costly. Since 1998, drought has cost agriculture more than $14 billion.

Crop producers and ranchers who continue to try to recover from the driest year on record in Texas also dealt with triple-digit heat and windy conditions. Texas' cattle herd is now at the lowest level since the 1950s.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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