Heavy rains create issues for peanut farmers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Heavy rains create issues for peanut farmers

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THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

This year's peanut crop will be a lot different than last year's record breaking harvest. 

Heavy rainfall is causing disease, waterlogged fields, and nutrient deficiencies.

While growers definitely won't set records, they're hoping for at least an average year.

These peanuts may look healthy, but if they don't get enough dry days ahead, trouble could be on the horizon.

"Normally this is a temporary situation and when the soil dries out, the peanut plant recovers. But if the rain keeps coming, peanut plants never get a chance to dry out," said County Extension Agent Andrew Sawyer.

Heavy rains have resulted in disease, waterlogged soil, and fertility issues.

Like with this unusually yellow plant.

"One of the main issues right now with peanuts is yellowing of the vines which is due to what looks to be a nitrogen deficiency," said Sawyer.

Growers across the state have had trouble reaching their crops to fertilize or spray.

And we are now past an important 30 day limit.

"Normally if you can catch a nitrogen fixation problem 30 days after planting, you have time to rescue or fix the peanuts," said Sawyer.

But Ag experts say the late spring cold spell could end up being a blessing

They say time is still is on their side.

"We have to keep in mind that we planted about 80 or more percent of the acreage after May the 10th which means that much of the crop is 80 days or less and still needs 65 days to reach harvest," said Sawyer.

Peanut growers say a successful harvest is still possible if they can get just an average amount of rain with enough sun for photosynthesis to do its job.

Most south Georgia peanuts will be ready for harvest in October.

 

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