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APNewsBreak: Drought costs Texas $8B in ag losses

HOUSTON (AP) – Agriculture officials say losses from Texas’ historic drought are more than $2 billion more than previously thought.

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service now estimates crop and livestock losses at $7.62 billion for 2011. The extension service’s preliminary estimate of $5.2 billion in August already topped the previous record of $4.1 billion in 2006.

Extension service spokesman Blair Fannin gave The Associated Press the data on losses Wednesday before it was publicly released.

Texas has a long history of drought. Since 1998, it has cost the state’s agriculture industry more than $14 billion.

2011 was the driest year in state history.

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