"We've seen some challenges this time that I've never seen before," Rick Kellison with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation said.
Heat, wind and dry air have all had their way with crops on the High Plains.
"The ability to wet to the surface and be able to get germination was much more difficult this year then I've ever seen it," Kellison said.
A bumper crop last year and high market prices gave cotton producers high hopes for this year, just to be let down by nature.
"Our input costs went up this year as far as fertility costs and so it's really been a challenge for producers under these kind of conditions."
But just as with most things in life, lessons can be learned out of failure. Kellison is program director for the TAWC. He says this year's drought can change up the game.
"We may need to spend a little more time in planning our ratio of crops, where the producers have adequate water to look at more than one crop and they may have to change their ratio to make sure that they have adequate water to try take care of their systems."
Kellison and the TAWC spent lots of time and money developing tools to help save the very water that most producers had to rely on this year.
"We have an ET program to help producers with their irrigation scheduling. It allows them to know how much water their crops using on a daily basis and schedule accordingly," Kellison said.
"From a planting standpoint we have a resource allocation tool again that's based around water where a grower can look at from a planting standpoint of what crops might be the most profitable to him."
And while those tools save water and increase yields on a normal year, without rainfall the full extent of their capabilities could not be felt.
"Our humidities were so low and our wind speeds were so high it was difficult to keep the soil moist enough to actually cause germination," Kellison said.
The TAWC is now working to develop a water calculator where a grower could actually calculate and divvy up water across with different systems on contingent acres.
- for more information on the program.