AGRICULTURE: Southwest Drought

On the southwestern plains of the U.S., weather as hot and dry as a kitchen stove lid is an accepted part of life. West Texans like to say that when the great deluge flooded the world and Noah took to the ark, West Texas had half an inch of rain. But last week the Southwest was not in a joking mood. In Texas and parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado, dry weather had turned to drought and drought was turning to disaster.

The region has had its longest, most severe and most widespread...

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