The impact of drought conditions in the Houston area

GANADO, Texas – The only thing falling out of the sky of late in Ganado, Texas is corn.

And very little of it.

It’s a far cry from what the area is known for.

“We’re standing here in Jackson County,” said local farmer Bart Hajobsky.

A “flash drought” as some have called it, has overwhelmed the area resulting in corn production totals being nowhere near what they have seen in the past.

“It’s not the same as last year. Not that close at all,” said trucker Lalo Cerde.

The worst drought seen in this area in over a decade is cracking the earth and creating mini-canyons over a foot deep in some parts.  

Production has dried up the crop dramatically with business being down as much as 60% for the year.

“Forty cents on a dollar is better than no dollars at all,” said Hajobsky.

KPRC 2′s Weather team analysis from year-to-year shows Jackson County is over half a foot below average in rainfall.

“Ninty-percent of the State of Texas right now is under at least, some form of severe drought,” said KPRC 2 Meteorologist Justin Stapleton.

A June 21 report by the United States Department of Agriculture shows texas with only 32% of its corn crop in either Good or Excellent Condition. That total is the lowest of any state in the nation.

While drought in some parts of southeast Texas translates to the disappearance of a river, in these parts it is much more than the loss of crops. 

“The sun has cost us our grass, and you can’t put a price tag on that,” said Chris Davlin.

Davlin owns around 300 head of commercial “mama cows” as he calls them.

The loss of grass means more money out of his pocket.

“As a rancher, we farm for grass, and without that grass, we have to feed them everything they get,” said Davlin.

As for corn? Plenty of it will not be served up on your dinner table.

Much of the corn crops KPRC 2 Investigates came across in Ganado is intended to bulk up chickens on poultry farms which means the struggles are passed on and only escalate.

“It’s a snowball effect,” said Hajobsky.

“As for who pays for all of that in the end? I would imagine consumers will end paying for it,” said Hajobsky.

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