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Texas Drought May Persist Through 2020

Published On: Oct 03 2011 04:41:42 AM CDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2011 06:16:11 AM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Experts said the Texas drought could last through 2020, so what would this mean for Big Country agriculture?

The State Climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon, said the Texas drought could be the start of a dry spell lasting until 2020!

Texas has dealt with dry periods before, but even then farmers were able to produce a crop.

But the farming community would need to adjust if this dry weather scenario plays out.

If the drought persists, farmers may have to change when they plant or how much fertilizer they use to control costs.

Taylor County Extension Agent Robert Pritz told us when it comes to wheat, changing to a variety that consistently produces a harvest may be wise.

?We're not going to be chasing the high yields and then get into a variety that crashes on us,? said Pritz.

Dry fields will mean farmers should leave residue on top to conserve moisture and help stop wind erosion.

Those who irrigate will have to do it more intensively.

?We're going to see those that have access to irrigation using it more as a full time tool rather than just using it as supplemental,? said Pritz.

Even with making changes to their farming practices, making a lucrative crop will be that much harder for farmers in a drier climate.

?Our goal is that we can still maintain making a crop, but we are going to expect that our yields and production will be lower, which will be an economic impact to the region,? said Pritz.

Climate experts and weather forecasters met today in Fort Worth to discuss the historic drought in Texas and plan for the future.