North Carolina's Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says that the November Crop Report released by USDA had some good news and bad news. The bad news is that cotton farmers saw a significant yield reduction due to Hurricane Irene. It's estimated that the hurricane reduced the crop by at least 21%, to an average of 660 pounds per acre, compared to 838 pounds last year.
The reasons for this are many, mostly salt water inundation and premature boll opening that couldn't withstand the subsequent rainfall seen in the state since the hurricane made landfall on August 26th.
The good news is that peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes actually benefited from the moisture that the hurricane brought, breaking the summer drought.