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Texas Farmers Watered Crops Knowing They Wouldn't Grow

Texas Farmers Watered Crops Knowing They Wouldn't Grow

POSTED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 9:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 9:59pm

Last summer, during the height of the drought, West Texas farmers kept watering their cotton crops despite knowing they wouldn't grow. They needed to do so to qualify for federal crop insurance.

"It's as if you're watching a guy in the Sahara Desert pour out water," said Stewart Rogers, who manages a cotton farm near Lubbock. Farmers hate wasting a resource, he added, so "it just angers everybody, too."

Plenty of West Texas farmers found themselves in this situation last year. The most intense drought in recorded Texas history meant that it was so hot and dry by mid-summer that many gave up all hope of producing a crop from irrigated fields. Yet they say they had to keep watering, using precious resources from diminishing aquifers like the Ogallala, because the insurance companies, before making payouts, would ask for proof — like electric bills for pumping — that the farmers had tried to grow a crop.

Read more here at the Texas Tribune.

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