Rains beneficial for southern Ariz. farmers

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TUCSON -- Farmers and ranchers in southeastern Arizona are smiling over generally generous and gentle rains so far this summer.

Their counterparts elsewhere in the state are either still hopeful or satisfied with drier conditions.

The monsoon, which officially started June 15, has been wetter than normal from Douglas to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

That's meant better conditions for some farmers and livestock growers.

Farmer Jim Graham near Willcox says he's benefited from six to eight inches of soil-soaking rains without heavy runoff.

Danny Tingle, who farms south of Willcox, says this year's monsoons have been great.

Rancher Gary Mortimer near Prescott is among the once-optimistic and still-hopeful after the monsoon started but stalled. He says it looks promising for more this week.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)