YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Fooling around with water data
By Gene Hall
We’ve all seen those scary numbers about livestock using up all the water, usually along with shrill demands that we eliminate meat from our diet. Some broad assumptions are made in these, factoring in water use on crops that might replace livestock. We need a closer look.
With cattle, for example, most of their diets are 85 percent grass over their lifetimes. The water that grows this grass falls on that ground no matter what is there.
It is a fact that nothing but grass will grow on much of this terrain. Livestock have the remarkable ability to turn grass, which humans cannot digest, into something we can. If that rain is not growing grass, it’s not growing anything.
As for that windmill pump turning in Throckmorton, Texas to give livestock a drink, does that matter for water shortages elsewhere in the world? Can you think of a way to get that water to sub-Saharan Africa? I can’t.
Some people are trying to sell a crisis where there isn’t one.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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