Farmers across the South contend with drought

LYONS, Ga. (AP) - Farmers across the South are dealing with dry conditions that are killing crops.

The dry weather started this spring and was compounded by record-setting heat that hurt crops in already dusty fields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared disasters in parts of 16 states, with some of the driest spots in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida.

Aries Haygood says the soil on his southeast Georgia farm appears dustier than last year. He says the roots of Vidalia onions planted just days ago aren't taking hold in the dry dirt. He irrigates his field, but not every grower has that option.

Citrus fruit has come in smaller in Florida, while some farmers in Alabama harvested peanuts this summer only to find there were no nuts in the shells.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)