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Associated Press

ENGELHARD, NC (AP) — Eastern North Carolina farmers are bracing for devastating crop losses from Hurricane Irene.

Strong winds and widespread flooding could mean billions of dollars in losses for those who grow corn, cotton, soybeans, tobacco and timber. While most farmers have disaster insurance, policies often pay only about 70 percent of actual loses.

Wilson Daughtry owns Alligator River Growers near Engelhard, near Pamlico Sound. Though he is under a mandatory evacuation order to move inland, Daughtry said Thursday he and his workers are staying to salvage what corn and squash they can.

The 49-year-old farmer says he’s lost count of how many times his crops have been wiped out by big storms. He says the threat of hurricanes is just an accepted part of being a farmer in eastern North Carolina.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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