Next year looks promising for GA peanuts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Next year looks promising for GA peanuts

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  It's been a year of up and downs for Georgia's peanut industry, but despite a few set backs, the 2009 crop will soon hit the market with a promising outlook.

This is good news for both farmers and consumers who stand to benefit from recent changes, and experts say if all goes well, this could pave the way for a profitable season next year.

With just a few weeks left in the south Georgia soil, the 2009 peanut crop is looking good ahead of the autumn harvest season.

While mother nature has been friendly to farmers, the record 2008 crop, which produced just over 2.5 million tons of peanuts created a 700,000 ton surplus that has greatly affected supply and demand.

But this week the U.S. Government dropped the price per ton of peanuts from $355 to $322 in an effort to move out the surplus supply.

Rocked by the nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to a Blakely peanut plant, the industry is on the rebound with sales of peanut butter up 13%. And new food safety measures have increased inspections, which is also helpful in spurring consumer confidence in Georgia's staple cash crop.

And while the south Georgia peanut crop is fairing well, it still needs about two inches of rainfall. The biggest obstacle local peanut farmers are dealing is pigweed, which is resistant to herbicides.


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