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Amarillo reached a record-high temperature of 111 today, according to the National Weather Service. The old record of 109 stood for only two days, having been set Friday. The previous high for this date was 107, set in 1990 and matched in 1998.
Borger set an all-time-high of 113, smashing the old record of 108 set on Friday as well.
Dalhart recorded a record-high temperature of 110. The previous record was 108, also set on Friday.
COLLEGE STATION — Because of the drought, there’s going to be no such thing as dryland crops in the Panhandle and South Plains this year, said Nicholas Kenny, Texas AgriLife Extension Service irrigation specialist based in Amarillo.
Despite some areas receiving rain, in most of the state, record-breaking temperatures — above 110 degrees in some places — continued to hammer agricultural production, according to AgriLife Extension personnel.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 70 percent of the state was experiencing exceptional drought as of June 21. About 91 percent was in one stage of drought or another.
Kenny’s responsibilities encompass all of the Texas Panhandle and portions of the South Plains region, where 100-plus degree temperatures, wind and low humidity have pushed evapotranspiration rates up as high or higher as they usually are in July or August.
Irrigated crops were surviving, he said, but with as much as 0.6 inch of moisture being lost per day from evapotranspiration, irrigators were running center pivots around the clock just to keep up with water needs, he said.
And because so many dryland fields have failed, high commodity prices should offset the increased costs of constant irrigation pumping, Kenny said.
AMARILLO -- All of the counties in the Texas Panhandle have been declared disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 213 counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas after one of the worst droughts in more than a century. The state sustained excessive heat, high winds and wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres
"Many producers have lost their crops due to the devastation caused by the drought and wildfires," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "President Obama and I want these farmers and ranchers to know that we will support them through the recovery process and help them once again become productive suppliers of food, fiber and fuel that keep America prospering. This designation will help provide that support."
The Agriculture Department designated 213 of Texas' counties directly affected by drought as disaster areas, and the remaining 41 also qualified for assistance because they are contiguous. Thirty-two counties in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico also garnered the designation because they are adjacent to Texas counties.
The state is also enduring its worst wildfire season ever. More than 3 million acres have been scorched by the wildfires that have not even spared the more humid East Texas region.