Texas grocery store shelves have begun filling up again. However, for the state’s agriculture industry, recovering from the winter storm will take time. Also, consumers are likely to feel it in their pockets.
The historic freeze and power outages brought agriculture across the state to a halt. Also, the products on the market were quickly bought up by panicked Texans just before and after the storm.
Governor Greg Abbott asked for the Rio Grande Valley counties of Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy, as well as other impacted neighboring counties, to be designated as disaster areas by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which would open the door for farmers to secure federal emergency loans.
Early estimates from the industry group Texas Citrus Mutual point to losses of more than $300 million in those three Valley counties alone.
Hppr.org reports that, for consumers, the impact may be lessened by produce imports from other states and Latin America, which have begun steadily flowing into Texas after slowdowns caused by icing and unsafe conditions on roadways.