Peanut producers remain optimistic -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Peanut producers remain optimistic

September 5, 2007

Brinson-- The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission's 3-day tour stops at research centers, peanut fields, and shelling plants around southwest Georgia.

The Georgia peanut tour visits almost every aspect of peanut production.  "What we're going to be shown is what the new projects that's going on with research all the different disease programs that they're putting on," said state representative Gene Maddox.

Just one of the many stops on the tour was at a Decatur county farm.  "Its easy to think about growing peanuts, its not such an easy thing to do in the end," said Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman, Bob Kemerait.

The tour group is made up of everyone from peanut butter producers to candy makers and advertisers. This gives them the hands on chance to see where it all starts.  "I hope they come away recognizing that its not an easy thing to do, but what makes Georgia's peanuts the best in the world comes from the care that Georgia producers and processors put into them," Kemerait said.  And this year's crop needed an extra dose of care to get by.

Between the drought conditions and the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter, Georgia's peanut crop has not had the best year. But growers still insist that all is not yet lost for this years crop.  "We're probably in better shape this time of the season than we were last year with the peanut crop. So even though its been a tough season, its not a season that's over with," Kemerait said.  Maddox added, "We've got some great, great peanut crops here this year. We had a drought to start with and late planting but we found out in Attapulgus that the later they planted, the less wilt they had."

While everyone's optimistic, the verdict is still out on what the end results will be.  "We've got a chance to make a good crop, not the best crop but a good crop if we get a little help from the weather," Kemerait said.  Producers won't know the final assessment until late November or December. Georgia is the nation's number one peanut grower, producing about 45% of all peanuts in the United States.




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