Peanut crop outlook good - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Peanut crop outlook good

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August 17, 2004

Albany -- All the signs are good now for South Georgia peanut farmers to harvest another great crop this fall. Badly need rain in the next few weeks could mean good economic news for the entire state.

 With about one month before harvest, South Georgia's peanut crop outlook is great. University of Georgia Agronomist Dr. John Beasley said "The first crop estimate was 33-hundred pounds per acre for Georgia as of August First. Whether we make that or not, there is still a lot to be determined over the next few weeks."

Many farmers planted late this spring, and this the time their peanuts are filling out. Spearman said "The last part of the season is always very critical. And then you determine when to dig. These peanuts are about five days ahead of normal."

Last week's rain from Tropical Storm Bonnie was a lifesaver for the parched peanut crop. Dr. Beasley said "we needed that kind of wide general rain to help the crop along. To break the dry weather we were having."

Tyron Spearman said "The northern part of Georgia has been hurt with the early drought. The northern part of our belt. So we feel real good right now, if we can get it in the barn."

Last year Georgia produced an all-time record yield of 34 hundred and 50 pounds average per acre. Beasley said "Last year was a record breaker. That was the one now all future crops will be measured against."

That crop paid off big economically for South Georgia. Another strong yield for peanut growers could mean gold two years in a row.

Spearman said "We are going to have a strong market this year. And I think the prices will probably stay up for our farmers."

Tuesday the Georgia peanut producers association reports prices at 407 dollars a ton. There is strong demand because of poor crops in Argentina and China.

posted at 4:50 PM by jimw@walb.com