Rain Pounds Arkansas Cotton Crop Value

NOVEMBER 4, 2004 - Posted at 7:28 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Heavy rains that started a month ago have caused serious losses for Arkansas cotton farmers.  The crop was headed for a fine year before the weather turned.  Agriculture officials say farmers could sustain a $45 million loss.

Without more rain, Arkansas farmers would need from three to ten days of low humidity, wind and sunshine before they could harvest any cotton or pick any soybeans.

Cotton can be too wet to be picked, and extended dampness can darken the fibers, driving down the price once it is picked.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 65 percent of the Arkansas cotton crop has been harvested.  That's compared to about the five-year average of 81 percent.

Arkansas' soybean crop is also at risk with 68 percent of beans harvested so far, compared to a 71 percent five-year average.  That leaves about one million acres in the fields.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)