Summer Drought Takes Toll On Crop Harvest

Nashville, Tenn. (AP) -- This year's harvest has been hampered by wet weather at the end of October as farmers put harvest on hold waiting for the clouds to clear.

It's almost the complete opposite from this summer when drought-like weather wreaked havoc on state crops, drying up pastures and prompting the governor to request federal support for farmers.

The US Department of Agriculture approved emergency loans for farmers in Franklin, Fentress, McMinn, Meigs, Morgan and Scott counties due the dry heat.

Despite the hot, arid summer that devastated many crops, the USDA expects to see record cotton production from Tennessee farmers.

The projected figure this year, 1.27 million bales, is a 13% increase over last year's cotton production.

Corn is expected to take the hardest hit, with a decrease of 18 percent.

Hay and tobacco are also expected to have slightly lower numbers than last year. Soybean yield per acre was unchanged from last year, but a slight increase in production is expected.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.