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Eddy County Commissioner and rancher Lewis Derrick surveys the dry grazing grounds of Turkey Track Ranch 12 miles east of Artesia. Historic drought conditions have hit farmers and ranchers hard across southeast New Mexico and parts of Texas. (Tyler Green – Daily Press)

Eddy County Commissioner and rancher Lewis Derrick surveys the dry grazing grounds of Turkey Track Ranch 12 miles east of Artesia. Historic drought conditions have hit farmers and ranchers hard across southeast New Mexico and parts of Texas. (Tyler Green – Daily Press)

New Mexico drought on verge of ruining farmers, ranchers

By TIM MENICUTCH
Daily Press Editor

Lewis Derrick remembers the drought of 1993-94. He said it got so dry, Turkey Track Ranch was down from 3,000 cows to 800.

The scary part is, the drought of 2010-11 is threatening to be worse.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Derrick, whose family has been in the ranching business around the Artesia area since the late 1800s. “There has not been any measurable rain in nine months.”

Officially, the last Artesia rainfall came Sept. 23. Not a drop since. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.