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ATHENS, Ala. (AP) – Agriculture experts are predicting a bountiful year for northern Alabama’s cotton crop.

The Athens News Courier reports that heavy rain this week forced some farmers to delay harvesting another week or two.

However, planters say the fall rain has been welcome after a scorching summer that featured consistent heat and little rain.

Eric Schavey, regional extension agent for northwest Alabama, predicts a solid cotton crop this year. He said less rain over the coming days would be more beneficial to the cotton crops. More rain could lead to boll rot, some of which he’s seen in some plants.

Farmer Kyle Bridgeforth said the June heat and drought stressed out cotton plants, but said the weather has been ideal since the Fourth of July.

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