Gov. Perry Issues Disaster Declaration Due to Drought Conditions

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN--The three counties included in the disater declaration are Howard, Midland and Ward.   The Basin is used to being hot and dry, but this year, we're actually better off than some.

Recent rains in the area pushed Ector County to lift their burn ban. But some local businesses, like Gardenview Greenhouse are able to take advantage of these conditions.

"Whenever you have more open space and you have more sun hitting more of your surrounding areas, you're going to want more drought tolerant plants.  And yes, people that do live outside city limits, who don't have the shade that you get in town, do tend to ask for more drought resistant plants," Owner, Jorge Hernandez, Jr, said.

Certain types of grasses and flowers just do better in the West Texas sun and heat.  "That's going to be your Lantana. You see it a lot around here.  It can handle the hot, over 100 degree heat," Hernandez explained.

Because of the drought, crop losses across the state could reach more than $3 billion, topping a record set back in 2006.

According to Hernandez, "For farming, for instance, it helps a lot to have natural rain water because irrigation isn't very effective.  You loose a lot of irrigation water to evaporation."

The most common piece of advice Hernandez gives to all customers, use mulch in your plant and flower beds and water in the morning, before it gets too hot.

"That's the main thing you're fighting in dryer conditions is evaporation.  Those two things are probably the most important things to do whenever we are in drought conditions," he added.

Texas farmers affected by the drought will have to wait until the fall to get their share of $3 billion in federal assistance.