Farmers get goobers in the ground - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Farmers get goobers in the ground

May 27, 2005

Sumter County-- Across Southwest Georgia, farmers are working overtime planting peanuts. Farm experts say 2005's crop will be one of the largest ever planted in the Peanut State, even though farmers say this may the toughest year ever to make a profit.

Craig Dominey's tractor is going full speed again this week. He and his Fairhaven Farms partners are planting 1,700 acres of peanuts. Dominey said "Right now we are playing catch up, and we got to get all we can."

Agriculture forecasters say Georgia farmers will plant more than 750,000 acres of peanuts this year, 17 percent more than in 2004. Dominey said "I know of a few farmers that were just strictly cotton farmers, that didn't plant any cotton this year. Just peanuts."

The cost of nitrogen fertilizer has skyrocketed 40 percent since last year. Cotton and corn crops need much more fertilizer than peanuts, so farmers are cutting costs where they can.

This could the toughest year ever to make a profit. "Our seed are higher, our chemicals are higher. Naturally diesel fuel is higher. The farmer is the guy who doesn't get to pass his increase his price on to anyone else."

Most South Georgia peanut farmers are late getting their crop in the ground, because of April's cool, wet weather. But they don't think it will affect quality. "A lot of it is going to depend on the weather," Dominey said. "As long as we have good weather, the quality is still going to be there."

Ideally, Dominey says they would have all their peanuts planted by June First.

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