Farmers plant cotton, peanut crops despite dry weather - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farmers plant crops despite no rain

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A little bit of rain has been reported Saturday, but more is needed. Farmers all across Georgia have their fingers crossed for a good rainfall, and the sooner the better for those in the middle of planting season for peanuts and cotton.

The wheels keep rolling and the irrigation systems run 'round the clock as Greg Odom sprays herbicides on his cotton and peanut crops. With rain expected Saturday, he'd like to see blue skies turn into rain clouds.

"With the excessive dry weather, we're having to irrigate," said Odom. "It's a slower process when it's this dry."

Odom needs a good crop to offset the cost of diesel that powers his irrigation systems. He's halfway through planting cotton and a third of the way through planting peanuts. His farmers lay about 145 pounds of peanut seed per acre. Each bag of seed is about $150. So far, they've done about 200 acres. That's $3,000 right there.

"If we get rain, it will be well needed rain," Odom added. "We can cut off some irrigation because water supplies are getting low."

Water comes from the Muckalee creek. He uses about 1,000 to 1,100 gallons of water per minute 24 hours a day. That's more than 500,000 gal of water per day that needs to cover his 18,000 acres of his cotton farm and 750 acres of his peanut farm. For now he'll keep his tires turning all day every day until the next big rainfall.

Farmers say they need at least a good half inch of water before and after they plant their peanut and cotton crops.