RALEIGH, N.C. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture says cotton is up and tobacco is down in North Carolina for 2010.
The agency issued a forecast on Wednesday predicting North Carolina farmers will plant 540,000 acres of cotton this year, a 44 percent increase over last year's 375,000 acres.
Cotton plantings have declined for three straight years. State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says a drop in cotton supplies has led to higher prices, making the crop more attractive to farmers.
Farmers are also expected to cut back on winter wheat and tobacco. The USDA forecasts that roughly 164,000 acres of flue-cured tobacco will be planted in 2010, down about 6 percent from 2009.
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