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Published May 12, 2010, 09:14 AM

Cotton production falls 34 percent in Arkansas in 2009

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says cotton production in Arkansas dropped by 34 percent from 2008 to 2009. But the USDA report also shows the cotton crop was larger than had been expected.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says cotton production in Arkansas dropped by 34 percent from 2008 to 2009.

But the USDA report also shows the cotton crop was larger than had been expected.

The report released Tuesday shows 852,000 cotton bales were produced in the state in 2009 compared nearly 1.3 million bales in 2008. The USDA had estimated in January that Arkansas would produce about 830,000 bales.

Analysts say rainy weather during the harvest damaged much of the cotton in the fields.

The USDA also released a forecast Tuesday that estimates the winter wheat harvest fell by 56 percent from 2009. Arkansas Farm Bureau economist Matt King says the drop is due partly to low prices for wheat.

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