Ranchers in Texas struggle as they face the worst drought in over a Decade

Month long droughts have caused various cities within Texas to require water to be trucked in for residents. Ranchers are facing similar struggles as they weigh in on tough business decisions due to not having enough water for cattle.

In Texas this past week, storms have been passing over – providing communities with much needed rain. But this is simply a small temporary reprieve as Texans continue to face the worst drought the state has ever seen in over a decade! The severity of the drought is obvious to professionals like state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.

We've seen crop failures and reduced yields. We're seeing water restrictions in place in many areas of the state as aquifers and reservoir levels get low.

In West Texas, ranchers like Sarah Mackenzie Evans have been left in a tough spot as a result of no rain. All around her ranch you can see the cacti and mesquite are dying. The land is extremely de-saturated as heat waves drift in from the horizon. Many ranchers like Sarah are being forced to send their herd/cattle away. Rancher Sarah Mackenzie Evans had to send away most of her herd of 250 cattle to a feedlot over a month ago and now has only 13 left. This ongoing issue is forcing ranchers to make calculated decisions in order to keep up with the rising costs of raising cattle and in order to preserve their land.

” How many cows do I sell? You sell your oldest cows first. How many of my young cows do I keep? And these are all business decisions, but it feels more than a business decision. It feels like you’re making decisions on things that you have a relationship with … and it all takes a toll, emotionally, financially and spiritually. “

Sarah Mackenzie Evans

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