Drought May Force Arkansas Farmers into Tough Choices

FEBRUARY 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:35 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Agriculture secretary says the weather outlook could force Arkansas farmers to make some hard decisions about what crops they will plant in the upcoming season.

Richard Bell said the lack of water has made some Arkansas farmers consider switching from planting rice to soybeans, a lower cost per acre crop.  Bell said the amount of rice grown in the state could drop between ten and 20 percent.

Bell said that could be disastrous for the Arkansas economy, which depends on rice mills and processing plants for jobs.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)