Texas Drought, High Demand = High Food Prices?

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The drought that has plagued Texas and the southern plain states could soon affect the rest of the country in the grocery store aisle.

Some parts of the state haven't seen rain since last fall. The situation isn't much better in western Oklahoma, southern New Mexico, and parts of southern Kansas.

Farmland has turned to blowing dust and the crops have failed. Forecasters predict the drought will last at least through November.

The lack of water has also kept farmers and ranchers from growing hay in their pastures.

The hay shortage is forcing them to either pay exorbitant prices for hay trucked in from other states or to sell off much of their livestock.

"It's just tough. It's financial and emotional at the same time. We've probably got $500,000 to $750,000 impact of loss of sales," said Dick Bumstead, the owner of a farm in Huffman, Texas.

"This goes right down the food chain into the grocery store and the people in Houston who live in the condos," he added.

Experts say it will take years for ranchers and farmers to recover.

"It's pretty ugly," said Don Davis, who raises grass-fed beef on his ranch about 75 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Davis said he used to think last year's dry weather couldn't get worse, but this year's record-setting drought has put even more pressure on ranchers.

The Texas drought is the worst on record for a single year and has so far cost $5 billion.

Agriculture makes up almost nine percent of the Texas economy.

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