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1. DROUGHT:

'Tough' times in drought-parched Texas for rice farms and their visiting ducks

The five-year drought in central Texas, the worst since the 1950s, has wreaked havoc on the region's $374 million rice industry. Water restrictions have eliminated about 50,000 of the region's 145,000 acres of rice. Beyond the harm done to rice farms and the people who depend on them, Texas water bird fanciers and the state's $204 million waterfowl hunting industry are becoming increasingly alarmed.

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