Winter Storm Uri, which blasted through the entire state of Texas, caused at least $600 million in agricultural losses, according to preliminary data from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural economists. Citrus, livestock, horticultural crops are among the sectors hit hardest.
“A large number of Texas farmers, ranchers and others involved in commercial agriculture and agricultural production were seriously affected by Winter Storm Uri,” said Jeff Hyde, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension director, Bryan-College Station. “Freezing temperatures and ice killed or harmed many of their crops and livestock as well as causing financial hardships and operational setbacks. And the residual costs from the disaster could plague many producers for years to come.”
Juan Anciso, AgriLife Extension horticulturist based at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco, said about 200 acres of lemons and limes produced in South Texas were destroyed completely because those plants were more sensitive to cold weather than other types of citrus.
“If those producers choose to replant, it will be three to five years before those new plants will begin to yield fruit,” Anciso said.