Wet weather delays south Georgia peanut harvests - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wet weather delays south Georgia peanut harvests

Armond Morris, Georgia Peanut Farmer and Georgia Peanut Commission Board Member Armond Morris, Georgia Peanut Farmer and Georgia Peanut Commission Board Member

The peanut harvest is underway, but wet weather is delaying it for many farmers, driving up costs for them.  

Farmers had to dig up and replant some fields early in the season because they were flooded.  The turned up peanuts in an idle field outside Irwinville are evidence peanut harvest season is back.  But wet weather is threatening to rot the crops.

"The rain hasn't really hurt these peanuts so far, as the peanuts...they're still green.  They'll dry down and still pick pretty good," said Armond Morris, Georgia Peanut Farmer. 

They were planted in early May, and now lay out to dry before being hauled to market.  But farmers faced more challenges than usual.

"We spent more money spraying our peanuts this year protecting for white mold," said Morris. 

And farmers can't leave the growing commodity in the soil for too long.

"You can lose peanuts in the ground if they are mature and ready to dig with a digger/shaker and there's a lot of rain," said Morris.  "So there's two ways you can lose peanuts, so it's important we get peanuts harvested in a timely basis." 

Heavy rains flooded some fields earlier this year, forcing a few growers to replant crops.  And the clock is now ticking against mature plants.

"It could be detrimental in some fields that were ready to harvest when the showers started.  But let's hope...most times we can wait another 5 or 6 days, as long as we keep our vines healthy,"  said Morris.

The weather had dried out in the last few weeks, a good sign for farmers.

"We hope that our peanut crop is gonna be good.  Quality, I think, will be pretty good.  We have some wet areas that have peanuts we realize that.  But maybe overall they'll have a good harvest," Morris said.

Morris also holds a position on the Georgia Peanut Commission and says consumers shouldn't worry about their favorite snack.

"We'll have plenty of peanuts to supply the demand, I feel like," said Morris. 

And that means you shouldn't have to pay more for peanut candy, ice cream or roasted peanuts to satisfy a rumbling stomach.

Morris said farmers can't really recuperate any costs for lost crops, but remained hopeful peanut growers will have a good harvest this year.  He said about 20% of the state's peanuts have been harvested.  He also said some growers in middle Georgia are back in the fields while our region is a little behind schedule.


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