Despite some fall showers, most of Texas remains in an exceptional drought, and faced with withered pastures and farmland, the losses already sustained by the state’s ranchers and agriculturalists are likely to worsen.

In August, economists with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, a community education network linked with Texas A&M Univeristy, reported agricultural drought losses reached a record high – a whopping $5.2 billion. Of that amount, livestock producers lost $2.06 billion partly due to the purchasing of expensive feed and lost pastures.

Travis Miller, Texas AgriLife Extension Service argonomist, said the unending drought, which began in September 2010, will have lasting affects on Texas agriculture. It will take several years, he said, for overgrazed grasslands to recover and for ranchers to replace their heads of cattle.