Crop dusters answer farmers' prayers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crop dusters answer farmers' prayers

September 17, 2004

Lanier County - Crop dusters could be the only hope for South Georgia farmers. "I think its going to brighten up the fields a little, but right now they're looking pretty grim," said Ashley Lane.

Farmers can't put their equipment back in the fields to treat their crops and prepare them for harvest because of tangled rows of cotton and soil soaked by the heavy rains. "The cotton is flat on the ground so if you run over it with the highboy sprayer or tractor, you're just going to continue running over this stuff," said Lane.

Ashley Lane is hoping his crop dusting service can salvage what little crops are left. "We can get the harvest aid stuff out, get the leaves off the cotton, get the boles open and then maybe by then it will dry off where farmers can get their pickers in the field," said Lane.

Hurricane Ivan kept his crop duster grounded most of the week, but now the storm is passed and its time to get back to business. "We're three days behind," said Lane.

Now its a game of catch up to get these crops the dose of medicine they need. "The harvest aid stuff, defoliants, and fertilizers," said Lane.

With a few days of clear weather, fields of corn, cotton, and peanuts could be saved. But he'll have to work fast, since Tropical Storm Jeanne could ground him again when she moves in.

posted at 3:10 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com