House Agricultural and Livestock committee chair, Tracy King (D-Uvalde) shared with us his thoughts on Hurricane Harvey:
Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful storm to hit the US in over a decade, has already drastically harmed our state's agriculture and agricultural export industries. While the extent of the damage is not yet fully known, my sincere condolence
s go out to all that were affected and I look forward to working with our agricultural community to get Texas farmers and ranchers back on their feet. I am confident that our state agencies are doing everything in their power to help mitigate the impact Harvey has and will have.
At the present, it is my understanding that cotton has most directly been impacted. What was expected to be a record year is sadly no longer going to be the case. Additionally some 100,000 acres of rice have been drowned out and several thousand head of livestock have been displaced. Exports of commodities grown both in Texas and elsewhere have also taken quite a hit as ports were shut down and shipping was interrupted.
Factors such as power outages, downed windmills, destroyed fencing, damaged wastewater infrastructure, saline damage, and conditions ideal for mosquitoes and other insects all have the potential to cause lasting harm to agricultural operations and industries beyond the damage initially caused by the storm itself.
Looking forward, once we have a better understanding of the extent of the damage, it is my hope that crop insurance and other assistance programs designed to anticipate loss from natural disasters allows for a swift recovery.
- Tracy King