Missouri has few tobacco farmers left, and the number is decreasing all the time. About 2,600 Missouri farmers grow tobacco, and they will be receiving $22-million annually for the next twelve years from the $5-billion national tobacco growers settlement. In 1999, Missouri farmers grew more than 4.6-million pounds of tobacco valued at $8.7-million – nearly all of it in Buchanan and Platte Counties. State Agriculture Director Lowell Mohler hopes the settlement helps to ease farmers into alternative crops. But he admits they will be hard pressed to find crops that match the returns yielded by tobacco.