Published: Oct 04, 2010 4:06 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2010 1:06 PM EDT

MARIANNA, Fla. (AP) - Farmers in the Florida Panhandle say they're expecting a smaller crop of cotton and peanuts because of low rainfall levels and the simmering summer heat.

A Jackson County official says irrigated fields could see a loss of 40 percent of normal yields.

The county is one of the largest Florida producers of cotton and peanuts, and agriculture has a strong economic impact on the region, with $70 million in expected annual sales in Jackson.

Locals are calling it the worst season in years.

Larry Ford of Ford Farms says he's had to pump large amounts of water into his fields, increasing the cost of irrigation.