Region 8 farmers say cost surge offsets price increases

Associated Press - September 28, 2008 9:54 PM ET

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas farmers have welcomed the higher prices that some commodities have been commanding, but growers say the increases have not been enough to offset higher costs and the effects of bad weather.

Growers say they have paid more for fuel, fertilizer and other. And heavy rains and flooding delayed planting by several weeks or made planting impossible in the spring. Into the summer, hurricanes Gustav and Ike passed over Arkansas. Gustav dropped heavy rain for days and caused some wind damage. Most of the damage from Ike came from strong winds.

Some rice fields have stalks that were blown over in the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Some cotton fields have plants with boll rot because of rains from Gustav.

Growers are also facing some scheduling difficulties. Some plantings had to be delayed due to bad weather in the spring. Many farmers have rice, corn and soybeans ready for harvest at the same time that late-planted cotton is reaching maturity.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.