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June 20, 2003   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
June 20, 2003

Talladega County farmer Bob Luker, left, and Federation Cotton and Wheat and Feed Grains Director Buddy Adamson inspect flood damage to Luker's corn crop. Parts of one field were covered by almost six feet of water in early May.
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Soggy weather throughout much of Alabama has forced farmers to replant some cotton fields and switch other acreage to soybeans. "In most areas, the cotton crop is suffering from too much rain and fair to poor growing conditions," said Buddy Adamson, director of the Federation's Cotton and Wheat and Feed Grains divisions. "Saturated soils, cloudy and rainy days and cooler nighttime temperatures--particularly in the Tennessee Valley--have resulted in many producers having to replant anywhere from portions of fields to entire farms."

In some cases, the cool, wet weather prevented farmers from planting or replanting their cotton in time to make a crop, so they have either planted soybeans or left the land idle, Adamson said.

"It's been so wet, some farmers had to wait three or four weeks after the flooding to get back into their fields," Limestone Extension System Coordinator Curtis Grissom told The News-Courier in Athens. "Some planted cotton later than they ever have, as late as the first week of June."

Cotton producers, however, weren't the only farmers hit hard by heavy spring rains. In Talladega County, parts of Bob Luker's corn and soybean crop were drowned by almost six feet of water in early May. Last week, portions of Luker's fields were still covered in water, while other areas were stunted and skippy. Adamson said many of the state's cotton farmers will be dealing with the side effects of spring flooding right up until harvest.

"These wet conditions are causing excessive weed problems, and some insect pest problems will be more difficult to manage," Adamson said. "The resulting maturity differences of cotton likely will cause picking problems this fall. What this crop needs now is a break from the almost daily showers. Many farmers could use some sunny, warm days and warmer nights."

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