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Weather & Navigation - November 12

Miami, Nov 12 -- Rain from tropical storm "Ida" further slowed the cotton, soybean and sweet potato harvest in Mississippi, where crop losses were devastating even before the storm hit, a state agriculture official said today. "We're seeing catastrophic losses," Andy Prosser, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, said in a phone interview. Mississippi was spared a direct hit but still got an unwelcome soaking. "We got a few counties in east Mississippi that did get a lot of rain. Of course any more rain at this point is not good in terms of crop harvest," Prosser said. At the start of the month, state economists estimated Mississippi's crop losses at $485 million. The southern U.S. state expected to lose two-thirds of its sweet potato crop, half its cotton and 44 percent of its soybeans. Spring rains delayed planting, while record rainfall in September and October cut yields and quality, the agriculture department said. Mississippi cotton growers tradi

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