09/27/07 — Drought might stall some crop entries

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Drought might stall some crop entries

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 27, 2007 2:01 PM

County Cooperative Extension agents are not sure if the summer's drought will have an effect on the number of farmers who will put up their crops for judging at this year's fair.

But they are hoping to get to the same level as last year even though early entries came in slowly Wednesday.

Gardeners as well as farmers can enter examples of crops like cotton and tobacco in the row crops category, vegetables in another category and fruits and nuts in a third.

The entries were slower coming into the exhibit hall Wednesday afternoon, and extension agents Jessica Hyatt and Kevin Johnson didn't know what to expect.

Last year, they ran out of space and had to turn exhibitors away from the booth.

By 8 p.m. Wednesday, the display had filled out better than the agents had expected.

At 8:30 a.m. today, Johnson and Ms. Hyatt were hoping the exhibit would finish filling out.

"We're not at the level we were last year," Johnson said. "I hope a lot more come today, but what came in yesterday was most I've seen on the first day. I've got a lot of stuff, and we checked in 10 or 12 things already this morning. We're pretty full -- but not yet."

Normally, Johnson said tobacco growers barn their crop July to October and prefer to get everything into the barn during September.

But this season, some tobacco growers, especially those in the Grantham area, are just now getting started bringing their tobacco in from the fields.

By the end of the night Wednesday, Ms. Hyatt's display was starting to fill out, too.

"There was a good variety of vegetables, mostly vegetables," she said.

And beside her horticulture display also was a good variety of tobacco, cotton, corn and soybeans -- just not as much as usual.