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News Clash

AFTER THE FIRE: Texas Ranchers Face Catastrophic Losses Of Pastureland And Water

Even the cattle that survived still face an uncertain future

It is officially the largest wildfire in Texas history. And it torched the heart of cattle country in Texas. Ranchers are left wondering how to pick up the pieces.

Yes, thousands of head of cattle were destroyed in the fire. So far as assessing the damage goes, that’s the easy part. Finite losses where the answers will mostly be found in the details of insurance policies.

The harder problem to navigate is the path forward for the ranchers who had cattle that survived, but have no home to which they can return.

The pastureland has been reduced to carbon. It won’t come back for about a year. The infrastruture is gone. So is a lot of the water.

What will they give their cattle to eat and drink even if they can go home. Will they be forced to cull their herds and sell at a loss? If so, how long before their herds can recover?

The anti-beef environmentalists might be cheering this as some sick victory over cow farts, but for a lot of people this is serious news. (Besides, anyone opposed to raising cattle has NO idea what the real benefits of regenerative farming look like. If ‘carbon capture’ is your thing, you should be all in.)

This is a food security issue.

How high are the stakes?

The state is home to about 4.1 million beef cattle, according to David P. Anderson, professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University. And more than 85% are in the panhandle, according to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

Farmers and agricultural experts say the wildfire will continue to affect the cattle industry for years to come. — CNN

Returning ranchers are finding cattle that survived have been badly injured by the flames. Many will need to be euthanized.

Beef is about to be a LOT harder to get your hands on.

Food and water on the Panhandle are scarce, creating serious challenges for ranchers looking to keep their surviving cattle alive. In addition, Miller said 120 miles of power lines are down in the panhandle. Those power lines feed water pumps and provide electricity to surrounding areas in order to provide water for cattle.

According to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a preliminary count estimates 3,000 head of cattle died in the fires. Miller said the estimated number is low, and he anticipates the number could triple in the days to come.

The damage and loss of livestock are a threat for the state’s agriculture economy, Texas Farm Bureau Communications Director Gary Joiner said.

According to Miller, 85% of the state’s cattle are on land in the Panhandle.

“It’s very devastating,” Miller said. “Cows are worth about $3,000 a piece. When you have a couple hundred of those gone, it’s a pretty stressful time.”

Joiner said a full recovery could take several years. It comes during a time when demand for meat products exceed supply.

“Beef inventory, in terms of cattle on the land right now, was at a 73-year low before the fire,” Joiner said. — WFAA

It gets worse. A lot of the feed they rely on was destroyed in the blaze as well.

Long story short, it’s going to be a long way back to anything like ‘normal’ for these ranchers — to say nothing of the rest of us who depend on the meat they provide.

As for all of the usual suspects pointing the finger at ‘climate change’, one lawsuit is pointing the finger at human negligance.

A Canadian woman, Melanie McQuiddy, whose house was ravaged by the most extensive wildfire in Texas history, has accused Xcel Energy of negligence, claiming the utility’s power pole was at fault for sparking the blaze. Reuters reported that McQuiddy filed a lawsuit alleging that a deteriorating power pole, belonging to Xcel, toppled and triggered the Smokehouse Creek fire. — Hoodline

Psalms of War: Prayers That Literally Kick Ass is a collection, from the book of Psalms, regarding how David rolled in prayer. I bet you haven’t heard these read, prayed, or sung in church against our formidable enemies — and therein lies the Church’s problem. We’re not using the spiritual weapons God gave us to waylay the powers of darkness. It might be time to dust them off and offer ‘em up if you’re truly concerned about the state of Christ’s Church and of our nation.

Also included in this book, Psalms of War, are reproductions of the author’s original art from his Biblical Badass Series of oil paintings.

This is a great gift for the prayer warriors. Real. Raw. Relevant.

Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck