Home > Droughts, Texas > Texas Drought worst since 1895

Texas Drought worst since 1895

May 2, 2011


The drought in Texas, during March, was the worst since 1895.

That is about the time my parents were born 120 years ago.

I never thought it could be worse than the drought of the 1950s, but it is. Drive out into grazing country where mesquite aren’t too thick and all you can see is dry, cracked soil with an occasional fire ant or a gopher mound in the sandier soil.

Comparing the current drought with the seven-year drought in the 1950s, old-timers say the current drought sapped the soil of moisture faster than it did in the 1950s.

It just stopped raining last July, and pasture after pasture was hit by wildfires.

Right now, there is no potential to produce hay, harvest wheat or plant cotton or grain sorghum this May. Unless there is a week of rain fairly soon there is no hope for agriculture this year.

The Texas Ag Extension Service says that, despite a few recent showers in some areas, the cotton growing in Texas and Oklahoma is still in a drought. Any crop planted in southern Texas earlier in the year that got up out of the ground is now being sand blasted by hot, dry winds.

Wildfires have burned at least 1.5 million acres in the state since Jan. 1.

In addition to grazing losses, ranchers are facing rangeland stock water tanks that are dry or nearly dry. Streams are not flowing and lakes and big tanks are turning to deep mud.

  1. Ely
    September 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Then correctly, the article should state, ”worst drought since records started being kept in 1895. or “Worst Drought in Texas Recorded History”

    If it were a story about a mass murder, and the State only started keeping records about mass murders in 1901, you would not phrase it as;
    “Worst Mass Murder Since 1901!” Of course people would believe there had been a mass murder in 1901.

    It’s deceptive phraseology at worst, bad journalism at best.

    Journo 101 reminder: Who, What, When, Where and Why if possible.

    The ‘Why’ is entirely left out. The ‘Why’ is that 1895 was the year Drought monitors were first put in place, not that there was a ‘worst drought’ that year.

  2. Ely
    September 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    You and other media are phrasing this as if there were a drought in 1895.

    There was no drought in 1895 in Texas.

    1895 was when they first put drought monitors (rain measurement) equipment in Texas. The real fact is that this is the worst drought ‘ever RECORDED in Texas history’, NOT the ‘worst drought since 1895’.

    • September 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      Technically this is the worst drought since 1895 and indeed as you have stated accurately it was the year when the drought monitors were installed. So since there were no drought monitors predating 1895, it only makes sense that 1895 was the beginning of record keeping as this article is not misleading as it did not say there was a drought in 1895. This year indeed is the worst ever drought as it will be felt environmentally and financially throughout the state for many years to come since record keeping began in 1895.

  3. Charles Hoyenski
    May 10, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I live in Austin and am only 52 years old. But being in this area half
    my life (since 85′), I can say I’ve never seen it this dry: the last dry season
    was in the early 90’es, (91′ or 93′ ?). But this is unprecedented, my front lawn
    is just one big brown patch. In fact I normally am annoyed at having to mow my
    lawn about once each month, now it’s once each 4 months.
    I saw a national broadcast on NBC (I forgot the newscaster, Brian something),
    anyway, this guy showed film clips of those unfortunate farmers in Cedar Creek
    Texas, man I thought, that’s only thirty miles from my house !.
    I don’t know how much longer the Edwards Aquifer that all of Travis and the surrounding counties, count on, can hold up.

    It seems like G-d is not happy with us !

  4. May 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Book marked, I love your blog! 🙂

  5. May 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    We should be thankful in North America we don’t have to deal with ug99 yet, like they do in area’s of the Middle East including Syria where they lost 50% of their wheat crop last year to ug99.


  1. May 19, 2011 at 10:49 am
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