- Associated Press - Sunday, October 12, 2014

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - State agricultural officials now say an estimated 24,000 acres of cotton crops were damaged by a recent hail storm.

The storm that struck Monday in Craighead and Mississippi counties produced golf ball-sized hail that resulted in up to the total loss of some cotton just as producers were preparing for harvest.

Extension agents in the two counties say farmers are numb. Mississippi County Extension Staff Chairman Ray Benson says some farmers are “walking around like a zombie,” not knowing what to do.

Farmers met Saturday with Congressman Rick Crawford, insurance agents and state agriculture officials in Black Oak where Crawford said he’ll work to find federal funding to help offset the losses. Representatives of U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman said the senators are also working to secure a disaster declaration for the area.

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