News Summary: Freeze, drought hurt fall tourism

The Associated Press

WEIRD WEATHER: Spring freezes and a historic drought have stripped some charm from rustic fall destinations, especially in the Midwest, leaving some corn too short to create mazes, orchards with few apples and fall colors muted.

BIG MONEY: Tourism generated about $566 million for more than 23,000 U.S. farms in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent agriculture census.

ALTERNATIVES: Areas near Lake Michigan are counting on the lure of art galleries to bring in tourists. Other farmers are focusing on hosting weddings and other events, or highlighting other crops, like pumpkin patches, to bring in visitors.