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Rotten harvest

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September 16, 2004

Grady County - The tornadoes that Hurricane Ivan spawned in Grady County, brought farmers exactly what they didn't need. "Always have what you don't need. Got plenty of water, need some sunshine," says farmer Brandon Bond.

Sunshine to help dry out peanuts. Bond was planning to harvest this week. "See, I mean, look at that," he says pointing to a group of peanuts. "You ain't gonna be able to do anything with that. It's just going to rot."

As will an entire field of corn that was also ready for harvest. When Frances came through South Georgia parts of a field were flattened, but some of the corn was still salvageable. Now that Ivan's high winds and rains have come through South Georgia, it will be a miracle if any of this corn survives.

"The longer it takes on the ground being so wet, the picker won't stand up," says Bond. "You won't be able to pick it. It'll all rot, just like that right there. It starts sprouting, whether you can pick it or not won't matter."

But it's not a total loss. Bond says, "Some of them are still good, for now."

And what's left in the fields will be good for some. "You'll just have a lot of bird feed," says Bond. Although it may be a little harder to put food on his own table this harvest season.

posted at 3:49 PM by karen.collier@walb.com