FACT CHECK: No, 80 Percent Of Texas’ ‘Cattle Grazing Land’ Was Not Destroyed By Recent Fires

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Instagram claims 80 percent of Texas’ “cattle grazing land” was destroyed by recent fires.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence for the claim. Spokespeople for the Texas Farm Bureau and Texas Department of Agriculture said the claim is false in an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check: 

The Texas Panhandle is facing massive wildfires at least partly ignited by utility provider Xcel Energy saying this is the largest blaze in state history its equipment has caused, according to PBS. The blaze has killed thousands of livestock, the outlet reported.

An Instagram video claims 80 percent of the land where cattle graze in Texas has been destroyed by the fires. The information is shared in a video by a man in a suit sitting in front of a collection of books.

“Texas is a major producer of beef, and it just so happens that these recent wildfires have taken out the place where 80% of the cattle in Texas graze,” the man says.


The claim is inaccurate, however. There are no credible news reports about the alleged statistic. The land destroyed in the fire does not equate to 80% of Texas’ “cattle grazing land” several experts confirmed.   

“The video in question’s largest issue is the text above the video,” a Texas Department of Agriculture spokesperson confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email. “The title written above the video spins what was said in the video incorrectly. In the video, they do correctly state that 80% of cattle in Texas do reside in the Texas Panhandle. However, the ‘grass lands’ (sic) burned in these wildfires in the Texas Panhandle does not amount to that 80% number. There is plenty of grassland left in the state of Texas.”

A Texas Farm Bureau spokesperson told Check Your Fact via email that while 80 percent of cattle in Texas are located in the Panhandle region of the state, the claim made in the Instagram video is false.

“The claim is not true,” the spokesperson said. “80% of the state’s cattle grazing land is not located in the Texas Panhandle. The Texas Panhandle includes the northernmost 26 counties and has a land area of 25,823.89 sq. miles. It covers nearly 10% of the state’s total area.”

Check Your Fact has also reached out to a spokesperson for the Texas Farm Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter