Alabama Crops

The state Agriculture Board voted today to ask Governor Siegelman to declare a statewide farm emergency because of heavy rainfall that has ruined crops across the state.

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bishop says the rain hit as cotton growers were preparing to harvest their best crop in 10 years.

He says the accumulating moisture caused cotton plants to rot, resulting in at least a $96 million loss.

The rain has also damaged peanut and pecan crops.

The destructive storms came just months after farmers were complaining that their crops were threatened by a multi-year drought.

The agriculture commission also voted to appeal directly to Alabama's Congressional delegation for federal assistance for farmers.