“The two-year drought Live Oak, McMullen and surrounding counties are currently enduring is having a devastating effect on farming and ranching,” Editor Rita Arnst reported. “This natural disaster has cost the area countless dollars in economic losses, but more importantly is slowly destroying the agriculture industry.”
“This is the second year of the drought; 13 inches total last year and our normal is 28-29 inches. So far this year all we have had is 8/100ths of an inch of rain,” said Bill Wieding, an area cattle rancher and former manager of the Three Rivers Co-op.
Livestock is stressed and ranchers must choose between reducing their herd size and buying feed, Arnst added. “If it doesn’t rain in the next two weeks, farmers won’t be able to plant grain. If it doesn’t rain within the next four weeks, farmers will lose their chance to plant milo too. Either way, it will take a couple of months for the crop to grow,” said Wieding. “If a rancher doesn’t have enough hay put away he will have to sell. We need to pray for rain.”
Indeed, we do. The situation in Bee County is just as dire as for our neighbors to the west. We still are under a burn ban, so we urge caution with fire so as not to endanger homes, citizens or firefighters.
As Rita pointed out, this current drought situation is having a devastating effect on our economy, probably more serious than the financial meltdown or housing market collapse.
What can one do? Well, it’s certainly not difficult to take an editorial position: Let’s see now, should be for or against a prolonged drought?
Fortunately, the Beeville Ministerial Alliance is calling on county residents to join its members on Sunday at 6 p.m. at Kohler Park (or Nopal Park, across from R.A. Hall Elementary School) for a community worship service asking God for deliverance from drought and spring rainfalls.
The service, held rain or shine, will feature prayers and scriptures and call “upon the Lord.” All God-fearing citizens should plan on joining the community of faith as they gather together in prayer.