The dry spell continues, as high temperatures and dry winds cause one of the worst droughts in decades.

Joe Raedle, Newsmakers

Texas is enduring its worst drought in decades as high temperatures, windy conditions and lack of rainfall persist across most of the state.

Because the dry conditions across the nation's second-leading agricultural state come as commodity prices are strong, Brown said farmers and ranchers are taking an even larger financial hit.

"The grass just crackles underneath the feet," Brown, 72, said of walking across his acreage in the town of Panhandle where he grows corn, cotton, wheat and grain sorghum. "It will be that way until we get sufficient rain to turn everything around."

The Agriculture Department designated 213 of Texas' counties directly affected by drought as disaster areas, and the remaining 41 also qualified for assistance because they are contiguous. Thirty-two counties in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico also garnered the designation because they are adjacent to Texas counties.

Many producers have lost their entire crop because of drought and wildfires, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the news release.