Georgia Peanut Farm show shows 2008 optimism - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Peanut Farm show shows 2008 optimism

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January 17, 2008

Albany -- More than 12 hundred farmers from Georgia, Alabama and Florida checked out new farm technology at the 32nd Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show in Albany.  They're optimistic and plan to plant more acres of peanuts this spring.

 Peanut farmers from three states packed the Albany Civic Center, to see the newest ideas and equipment in peanut farming. This is an unofficial planning session for these farmers, to get them ready to plant, and there was renewed optimism. Georgia Peanut Commission Executive Director Don Koehler said "we see excitement with the farmers, because in general commodity prices, as well as peanut prices are stronger right now. There is the hope with a good growing season that we can have a profitable season."

 Farmers looked over new equipment on display ranging from drying trailers that do the job more quickly and with less energy, to GPS systems that drive a farmers tractor so precisely it produces more peanuts. Ag Technologies Josh Pitts said "the new revolution in farming has gone from farming by the farm, to farming by the acre. With this kind of accuracy."

 Educational seminars were held on the latest research findings to help the farmer. Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris said "there are new ideas to control some of our weeds. We have got new equipment developing each year. Ways to save more peanuts as we harvest."

And with the rain falling outside the Civic Center, many farmers felt renewed as they prepare to plant the 2008 crop. South Georgia farmers produced a good crop despite one of the worst droughts in memory. The prices and demand for peanuts is high now.  Koehler said "increased consumption now. Peanut butter consumption is really strong, and that's really good for us, because that is where a big part of our peanuts go."

 Many of these farmers made excellent crops last year despite the drought, and hope today's rain is a forecast for an easier 2008 growing year.

Peanut prices this year are the highest farmers have gotten since 2001.

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