Cotton farmers cautiously optimistic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cotton farmers cautiously optimistic

June 17, 2003

Colquitt County-- Cotton and peanuts are two major crops in our area. Some farmers in southwest Georgia say this years cotton crop is expected to be the best in the past five to six years.

So, what's the latest trend in the fields?

Planting seeds is like rolling a dice. "Farmers all farmers are gamblers because anytime you grow something outdoors, you have weather to contend with so it's a gamble," said Mark Mobley, President of Mobley Gin Co.

Although cotton farmers had it rough last year, with heavy rains during picking season, experts say the white fluffy crop has been steady in southwest Georgia since 1995.

"Cotton has been very good to the economy of southwest Georgia, I don't know what we would have done had we not had cotton," said Mobley.

Mobley says the two gin companies in Doerun have gotten the luck of the draw. "Between the both of us we're ginning over 100,000 bales of cotton right here in Doerun, Georgia."

Driving on southwest Georgia roads, you may think there's more cotton being planted, but that's because farmers rotate crops between cotton, peanuts and corn. "We don't have a lot of corn. More corn this year than the last four or five years," said Mobley.

Farmers are also growing vegetables to make extra money. "Other than that, haven't seen much crop flucuation in the last four or five years," said Mobley.

Overall, agriculture experts in Tifton say cotton is steady. But, because of changes in goverment farm programs, peanuts have had a slight decline and tobacco has had a significant decrease over the past few years.

Cotton and tobacco farmers in Colquitt County are excited about recent rains and both expect a good year.

posted at 5:05PM by dave.miller@walb.com