October 1, 2010
Despite recent rains, Virginia tobacco farmers are waiting to see how much damage this summer's hot, dry weather will have on their crop.
Virginia sweltered under one of its hottest summers on record and drought conditions have been widespread across the state.
Stan Duffer, the state agriculture department's tobacco marketing specialist, says that means farmers could see a noticeable impact on the quality and amount of tobacco harvested.
Virginia is the nation's fourth-largest tobacco-growing state, and despite the harsh conditions, federal forecasters expect a slight increase in production.
Duffer says he views that prediction with caution. He says farmers will need a late frost to ensure they are able to get all their tobacco harvested.
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