BEEVILLE, Texas — Agriculture in South Texas is the second largest economic driver for rural communities. When droughts are declared in the area, our first concern is farmers and the affects the dry conditions have on their crops. But one farmer in Beeville said the dry conditions are also affecting cattle.
"But we should have big, tall, lush grass, its the middle of April, things ought to be growing," said owner of Raising 'em Right Beef, Matthew Huie, as he looked out in the field of dry grass.
Huie said the drought is taking a toll on his crops and cattle. He said they haven’t had significant rainfall since October, with his corn harvest taking the biggest hit. His livestock is also feeling the effects.
“In cattle, when you have a drought like this, two things happen. One, your production drops off. Cows want green grass and we don’t have any," said Huie
“Which means we are hauling them hay, so they are eating grass that we barreled up a year ago. And it’s just been sitting there a year and it’s simply not just as nutritious as green grass," said Huie.
He also mentioned there’s a cost associated with making and delivering the hay, causing a domino effect, increasing labor and decreasing production.
And the only source of water Huie said, is “mother nature, that’s it, it has to rain.” When production slows down, “ that is just a big decrease in the money supply in these rural communities," he said.
Dr. Dave Pahatel owns the Coffee Barrel in Beeville. He purchases food from Huie and told us he's also feeling the impact.
“Our coffee shop and everything we are doing there. Droughts like this mean, you know, less water in the area which means our water bill goes up,” he said.
Huie said Beeville usually receives about 30 inches of rain a year. He said, this time, they need about 10 inches of slow rain to catch back up
“There’s a little green here and a little green there, that all just moisture left from last year. We are under an inch in the last three months here on this ranch," said Huie.