It's planting time again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

It's planting time again

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March 28, 2003

Lee County-- South Georgia farmers are optimistic, as they dodge rain showers, tilling their fields and plant crops.

While spring showers have slowed their work, most farmers are glad to see them, hoping the years of drought are over.

Mike Bird is planting 16 acres of Snap Beans, trying to finish before forecast showers. "You hate to turn down a rain because we had so little in past years,” Bird said. “But just a good little shower to put moisture back on top, and next week we'll be ready to go again."

But like most South Georgia farmers, Bird is glad for the winter and spring rain. "A week or ten days ago, it rained about everyday that week,” said Bird. “We should have been planting corn that week. We had to just sit down and do nothing. We worked on all our equipment and it's ready to go."

Bird has been farming about 700 acres for 11 years. The drought conditions have made the last five tough. But Bird is optimistic this year will be better. "You have to be to do this. Every year is going to get a little bit better. You just make your best plans, do your calculations and your math. And try not to spend anymore money than you have to."

Running two tractors, one planting seed, the other spraying fungicide, the high price of diesel fuel is a big concern this planting season.

Bird hopes he won't have to run irrigation equipment all summer again. "Not only just from a financial standpoint. You stay up all night, and watch irrigation. It's very physically demanding."

“If we just keep getting those timely showers this summer, it'll make for a good season.”

Bird will harvest his snap beans in 60 days. Most will be trucked to Canada for sale.

posted at 2:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com