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Study points to climate change as a threat to our food supply

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 21:27:24-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For farmers, whether they are raising cattle and chickens, or growing fruits and vegetables, climate change is something they have to consider.

Rancher Scott Frazier tells us it’s one of several factors that is making it harder for Texans to access and afford food.

"Certainly, last year’s drought that we went through forces us to liquidate some cattle,” Frazier said.

According to the food access study by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 2022 was one of the driest years on record for Texas.

"Our crops were about half or less of what they should have been,” Frazier said.

The drought resulted in failed crops, low yields for farmers and diminished grazing. Ranchers sold nearly 2.7 million head of cattle, that's the highest sell off in more than a decade.

"Overall, our cattle numbers are down half of what they were. We're recovering, we got some heifers and growing them out to put them out in the system. We should bounce back in a year or two,” Frazier explained.

While ranchers work to build their herds back to pre-drought levels, the demand continues so the prices go up. The owner of Mother Clucker Farms, Daniel Graves who sells eggs from his backyard is experiencing the same thing.

"We had to take a price increase because of the feed costs increasing. In the last year our feed has gone up 30% per bag,” Graves said.

Graves tells us everything is driven by climate, including how many eggs his chickens produce.

"Fall and winter times they can slow down to nothing. Sometimes its feast or famine with eggs,” Graves said.