WESM

Va officials say corn, tobacco, hay hit by drought

Aug 3, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Department of Agriculture says drought conditions have hit parts of the state harder than others.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/RlrUzb) says seven counties are seeking disaster designations because of drought and excessive heat. Corn, tobacco, and hay are the hardest-hit crops, while soybeans, peanuts, cotton, peaches, apples and grapes generally have fared better.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says portions of Southside and northern Virginia are experiencing a moderate drought, while most of the rest of the state is abnormally dry.

Tyler Franklin, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on a 1,000-acre farm in Essex County, says his corn yields could be down by more than 75 percent.

And Mecklenburg County farmer Bruce Hall says excessive heat could cut into the yield on his 80 acres of tobacco.