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Dry, hot weather damaging field crops on N.C. farms

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LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) -- The dry, hot weather hitting North Carolina this week is expected to cost farmers millions of dollars in field crop losses.

In Robeson County alone, about a quarter of what's in the fields now has been lost to drought conditions. According to the director of the county's Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service, that's worth roughly $20 million.

Director Everett Davis said he is trying to win support from Governor Mike Easley to have the county declared a disaster area so that farmers can apply for government aid, such as feed stock for animals or low-interest loans.

The state Drought Management Advisory Council says two-thirds of North Carolina's counties, including Robeson, are in moderate drought. Twenty-seven counties are in severe to extreme drought.

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