Texas Ag Industry, Food Supply at Risk from Severe Weather, Official Says

February 17, 2021

Farmers and ranchers across Texas are seeing devastating effects from the cold weather on livestock, feed and agriculture products, Texas’ top agriculture official says.

In a media release, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller warned the statewide impact of the winter storm on agriculture and the food supply chain is substantial.

“As Texas Agriculture Commissioner, I’m issuing a red alert regarding agriculture and our food supply chain here in the state of Texas,” Miller said in the release. “I’m getting calls from farmers and ranchers across the state reporting that the interruptions in electricity and natural gas are having a devastating effect on their operations.”

He said “dairy operations are dumping $8 million worth of milk down the drains every day because the plants that process that milk don’t have power. Grocery stores are already unable to get shipments of dairy products. Store shelves are already empty. We’re looking at a food supply chain problem like we’ve never seen before, even with COVID-19.”

Miller called on Gov. Greg Abbott to designate agriculture producers and processors as critical infrastructure that must be provided gas and electricity to continue operations.

He urged Abbott to consider the severe weather’s impact on rural communities, not just the big cities. “You have an obligation to ensure that rural Texas is not forgotten,” Miller said.

Source: Texas Agriculture Commissioner’s Office

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