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Posted on Oct 5, 2020 in Audio, Editorial, Featured, Your Texas Agriculture Minute




Rio Grande Valley farmers paying price for Mexico’s water debt

By Gary Joiner

Irrigation water is the lifeblood for Rio Grande Valley farmers and ranchers. Their water comes from two international reservoirs straddling the border.

A good bit of the water for the reservoirs is supposed to come annually from Mexico under terms of a treaty with the U.S. It’s not happening so far this year. Mexico has sent less than half of what it owes. And the country is already behind from previous water commitments.

Valley farmers and ranchers pay the price for Mexico’s water debt.

Brian Jones grows cotton, corn and grain sorghum near McAllen. He says area farmers will have to drastically reduce how much they plant if the reservoirs are not replenished. He estimates Valley growers have lost about $200 an acre in the past when irrigation water was short. Some farmers this year have already paid big dollars for high-priced water from the reservoir because supplies of lower-priced water were too low.

Delays in water delivery by Mexico are serious. Valley farmers and ranchers need water now. They counted on a commitment being kept.

The U.S. government must make sure that water needed by American farmers and ranchers is delivered. Time to make it happen.

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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