One man’s disaster is another man’s wish. While Hurricane Irene brought devastating flooding to the Eastern part of the nation, Texas has been suffering the worst drought in history. The record temperatures have stretched over extended periods, making this one of the hottest and driest summers since records have been kept in the last 150 years. While the flooding on the east coast has created an economic impact, it may be of shorter duration that the drought. The drought has affected major components of the food industry, and will take years to recover. Just in Texas, half of the normal cotton crop has been lost, which accounts for fifty five percent of the total U.S. crop. As a major exporter to other nations, the drought will drive the price of cotton higher, and there will be higher costs in the textile industry. Another area affected is the cattle industry. Due to the drought, ranchers can no longer depend on natural grazing lands to feed their stock. The drought has also led to the loss of the state’s hay crop, increasing the cost to ranchers, which forces them to sell off the stock they can no longer afford and in the process, are losing valuable breeding stock. As stated in the article, rebuilding herds will take time and be a long, expensive process. That will impact the price of beef for years to come. And as bad news runs in threes, the final blow will be in the fall wheat production. With lower than normal rainfall and high temperatures the ground is in less than ideal conditions to support any type of crop. Two of the states affected produce around a third of the nation’s winter wheat and a less than abundant crop will, as economists predict, cause a 50% increase in price. With losses already estimated at five billion and no relief in sight, the drought will make its impact felt in the most vulnerable area, the pocketbook.