South Ga. peanut harvest underway
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The weather for the peanut harvest seems to be turning out just the way South Georgia farmers want.
WALB’s Jim Wallace spoke with Scott Monfort, the University of Georgia Extension State Peanut Agronomist, about expectations for this year’s harvest.
“Yes, we are extremely lucky right this minute for the weather to kind of start to dry up for a little bit and we want it to kind of remain on the higher side temperatures. But we’ll take it the way we get it,” Monfort said. “We’re doing good right now. The rains stopped a little bit and we have begun our harvest in the last 2 weeks since the rains have diminished a little bit. Driving through the state yesterday there is a lot of peanuts on the ground ready to be harvested.”
The number of peanuts grown in Georgia this year may have been a little down, according to Monfort.
“We are down about 70,000 acres from last year but we are still within our limits of what we normally plant. But the last couple of years we’ve been up. This year with the cotton prices and corn prices the way they were, we did lose that acreage,” he said. “Our yields should still be good this year. Yield and quality look good, so I’m hoping still for the acres that we did plant, we are doing very well yield and quality-wise.”
For the growers, the high inputs they had to pay this year are so important to the economy of South Georgia.
“We go from year to year. Growers, we always talk about the way the growers think. For the most part, they are just trying to make it from one year to the next. They are carrying a lot of debt. So trying to squeeze out as much profit as they can is highly important,” he said. “And this year with the inputs the way they were, yes, we are kind of scared that it was going to squeeze them quite a bit. But luckily our contract prices have gone up a little bit, so that is going to help. To kind of minimize some of the expenses. But not minimize them, but give them a chance to make a little bit more money, because of the contract prices going up.”
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