'Massive crop losses' feared from US drought--Monitor

Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:49am EDT

 * Drought persists, intensifies in U.S. South
 * High winds, heat, drive "massive crop losses"
 By Carey Gillam
 KANSAS CITY,, April 28 (Reuters) - A devastating drought intensified
across Texas over the last week, with high winds and heat causing "massive
crop losses," with little relief seen any time soon, weather experts said
Thursday.
 The latest report from a consortium of national climate experts, dubbed
the Drought Monitor, said drought worsened along the Texas border with
Oklahoma, as well as in western, central and southern Texas.
 Ranchers were struggling to feed and water cattle, and wheat farmers
were left to watch their crops shrivel into the dusty soil.
 There was a slight alleviation of drought in central and eastern
Oklahoma as more than seven inches of rain fell during the past week,
according to the Drought Monitor.
 But for farmers farther south, there was no relief in sight.
Forecasters predicted that for May 3 through 7, the odds favor
warmer-than-normal weather across the Southwest and South and into the
Southeast, along the Gulf Coast.
  <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 National Drought Mitigation Center map of drought:
     here  
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 (Editing by John Picinich)