Sweet potato effort in SE Ark continues

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) - Sweet potato growers in southeast Arkansas are getting ready to plant this year's crop, and they are hoping that yields improve over 2008.

Gov. Mike Beebe toured the Arkansas Delta Yams facility in Phillips County last week. Beebe says yields in 2008 dropped from the year before because there was not enough technical assistance available to growers.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has been helping sweet potato growers in the area, but school officials said they need more funding to provide the support that growers need.

A sweet potato storage and distribution facility opened in 2006 and has been supplied by local growers. Production ranges from 350 to 500 bushels per acre, with about 1,500 acres planted in Phillips and Lee counties.

Information from: The Daily World, http://www.helena-arkansas.com/

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