Wet weather took its toll on Virginia farm fields, harvests

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - While Virginia escaped the wrath of Hurricane Joaquin, the rains that drenched portions of the state last weekend have caused headaches for some farmers.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation said the heavy rains of late September and early October, slowed harvest activity and potentially damaged soybeans, peanuts, cotton and tobacco.

Franklin County was especially hard hit, with some areas of the county getting more than 10 inches of rain. Extension agent Cynthia Martel said that put the brakes on field work.

In Mecklenburg County, tobacco and soybean growers reported damage from wet conditions. Virginia cotton growers had harvested only 2 percent of their crop before the rains came.

Extension agent Roy Flanagan said producers in southeast Virginia were probably the hardest hit. The extent of the damage is being assessed.