Daily Picture Show

Dismal Sights Of The Texas Drought

If you've been to the grocery store recently, you probably have noticed that dairy and beef prices are way up. The latest Consumer Price Index report showed dairy prices posted the biggest gains in more than three years. Prices for milk, steaks, pork chops and other foods are rising because feed prices are shooting up and animal supplies are tight.

At the grocery store — standing in the chilly dairy aisle or looking over a case of meat — you may not be happy about the prices. But don't blame the farmer or rancher. Take a look at these photos by Jay Janner, staff photographer at the Austin-American Statesman. Scenes of drought and fire in rural Texas give a sense of why beef and veal prices rose 10.4 percent since August 2010.

  • A cow is stuck in the mud in Garfield, Texas, in July. The historic drought has dried up stock tanks all over the state.
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    A cow is stuck in the mud in Garfield, Texas, in July. The historic drought has dried up stock tanks all over the state.
    Jay Janner
  • David Tucker, a ranch hand at Rocking H. Ranch in Garfield, gives water to an exhausted cow he rescued.
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    David Tucker, a ranch hand at Rocking H. Ranch in Garfield, gives water to an exhausted cow he rescued.
    Jay Janner
  • Underweight cattle wait in a pen to be auctioned at the Gillespie Livestock Co. in Fredericksburg.
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    Underweight cattle wait in a pen to be auctioned at the Gillespie Livestock Co. in Fredericksburg.
    Jay Janner
  • A boat is beached in the Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis in Austin. Waterfront properties in this area of Lake Travis barely have a view of water, and their boats and docks rest on dry land.
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    A boat is beached in the Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis in Austin. Waterfront properties in this area of Lake Travis barely have a view of water, and their boats and docks rest on dry land.
    Jay Janner
  • Terry Hash planted 800 acres of cotton, corn, wheat and sorghum, and almost all of it was destroyed by the drought.
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    Terry Hash planted 800 acres of cotton, corn, wheat and sorghum, and almost all of it was destroyed by the drought.
    Jay Janner
  • This corn is typical of hundreds of acres of corn destroyed by drought on this farm in Round Rock.
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    This corn is typical of hundreds of acres of corn destroyed by drought on this farm in Round Rock.
    Jay Janner
  • A plane dumps fire retardant on a 30-acre grass fire in Leander. The blaze destroyed 15 homes.
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    A plane dumps fire retardant on a 30-acre grass fire in Leander. The blaze destroyed 15 homes.
    Jay Janner
  • Chuck Tomlin uses a shovel to stop a fire in the backyard of a home in Bastrop. Tomlin volunteered to knock down flames that were just a few feet from the house of a neighbor he had never met.
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    Chuck Tomlin uses a shovel to stop a fire in the backyard of a home in Bastrop. Tomlin volunteered to knock down flames that were just a few feet from the house of a neighbor he had never met.
    Jay Janner
  • Flames engulf a house in the Steiner Ranch subdivision in Austin. The blaze destroyed dozens of homes and forced hundreds to evacuate.
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    Flames engulf a house in the Steiner Ranch subdivision in Austin. The blaze destroyed dozens of homes and forced hundreds to evacuate.
    Jay Janner
  • Deborah Torkelson consoles her husband, Nathan Torkelson, as they stand on what's left of their home in Bastrop.
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    Deborah Torkelson consoles her husband, Nathan Torkelson, as they stand on what's left of their home in Bastrop.
    Jay Janner
  • A water slide and a rope swing are rendered useless at a shrunken pond in Old Dime Box.
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    A water slide and a rope swing are rendered useless at a shrunken pond in Old Dime Box.
    Jay Janner
  • A catfish can barely move on the edge of a pond that has diminished to just a few inches deep in Old Dime Box.
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    A catfish can barely move on the edge of a pond that has diminished to just a few inches deep in Old Dime Box.
    Jay Janner
  • A whirlwind kicks up dust in Garfield on a day that saw a high temperature of 106.
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    A whirlwind kicks up dust in Garfield on a day that saw a high temperature of 106.
    Jay Janner
  • Dead trees are silhouetted against the dawn in Wyldwood.
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    Dead trees are silhouetted against the dawn in Wyldwood.
    Jay Janner
  • A barbed wire fence near Carmine.
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    A barbed wire fence near Carmine.
    Jay Janner

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Meat prices are expected to remain high well into next year, in large part because, with corn above $7 a bushel, livestock producers' feed costs are up dramatically.

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