Ala. crop quality differs widely

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Farmers along Alabama's Gulf Coast are reporting that small distances in miles can add up to a big difference between a good year and a bad one as they harvest cotton, peanuts and other crops.

Farmers say yields on those primary crops are looking average or better in the areas closest to the coast thanks to better rainfall there.

But farmers further north are reporting they expect a money-losing year from the drought impacting southern Alabama.

Statewide, the yield per acre of cotton, soybeans and peanuts is expected to fall, according to federal estimates.

Forecasters say all of Alabama is at least "abnormally dry" and 12 percent of the state is undergoing an "extreme drought."

Virginia cotton yield rises

CAPRON, Va. (AP) -- Virginia cotton growers are expected to harvest 19,000 more acres this year.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, growers will harvest approximately 82,000 acres in 2010.

That harvest was nearly three quarters complete by October's end.

The top four cotton-producing localities are Southampton, Isle of Wight and Greensville counties, and the city of Suffolk, according to the most recent statistics available.

Cotton is among the state's top 10 field crops.

While cotton prices have reached record highs, grower M.L. Everett Jr. of Southampton County says a lot of producers were locked into lower prices.

The parched summer also reduced yields per acre.

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