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Mike England surveys a field on his farm near Mercedes on April 18, 2024. England had to destroy 500 acres worth of sugar cane he'd grown because of drought in the Rio Grande Valley.

South Texas farmers are in peril as the Rio Grande Valley runs dry — again

With the hottest days still ahead, local leaders have declared emergencies. And farmers are lobbying for the U.S. government to pressure Mexico to release water.

Aerial view of farmer and rancher Mike England's land near Mercedes, Texas on April 18, 2024.
The Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers’ sugar mill Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024 in Santa Rosa. After two years of drought and a dwindling water supply has forced Texas’ last sugar mill to close after more than 50 years of operation.
Water marks are seen on the dam gates and concrete at the Falcon Dam in Starr County on Aug. 18, 2022. This area of the reservoir is normally under water, but because of an extended drought, water levels have been below 20% full since earlier this year. The Falcon Dam was dedicated by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mexican President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines in 1953.
Mike England walks across one of the fields on his farm near Mercedes on April 18, 2024.

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