Farmers upset when peanut hearing postponed - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Farmers upset when peanut hearing postponed

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

Farmers from all over South Georgia showed up for court in Lee County Thursday morning, in support of Worth County farmer Jack Bass.

Bass is in a contract dispute with Doug Wingate, who says he took his peanuts but won't pay him. However they didn't get far. The case was continued for a third time.

Worth County farmer Jack Bass filed a police report and application seeking an arrest warrant for business owner and developer Doug Wingate.

In the report Bass accuses Wingate of Theft By Conversion, Failure to Pay for Agriculture Products and theft by taking.

Farmers from all over south Georgia came together in Lee County today, in hopes of making strides on a major issue.

"We are just hoping for the best today," said Dennis Roland, Farmer and Lee Co. Commissioner.

Worth County farmer Jack Bass came to court regarding a contract dispute involving Doug Wingate, the man he contracted with to purchase his peanuts.

Bass filed a report with the Leesburg police department claiming Wingate illegally shelled 800 tons peanuts, which are mortgaged by First state bank in Blakely, without paying him.

"When a man loses two million dollars and loses collateral to the bank the bank is not as forgiving as other people," said Roland.

These farmers contracted with Wingate to purchase their peanuts too. Farmers from Wilcox, Dooly, Tift and Miller County claim they aren't getting paid either.

"Some of these people are looking at one or two million dollars he owes them," said Roland.

Some say they have lot at stake.

"For some they will lose their family farms that have been there for generations and that's at stake," said Roland.

Shortly after everyone entered the courtroom, both sides involved met privately for an hour and a half before getting disappointing news.

Sheriff Reggie Rachals announced the hearing would be continued for a third time.

"I'm sure Mr. Wingate he's told me personally he has the money to pay these farmers because he's not going to put money in those companies and I told him you own these companies so you should be giving them back to them," he said.

Now, these farmers will have to sit back and wait in hopes of resolving the matter on the 4th go-around.

"My personal opinion is that he was expecting the price of peanuts to go up at like it did last year and it didn't. If he would've  just sold them when he got them we wouldn't be having this problem," he said.

They are scheduled to meet again in two weeks.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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