Georgia preparing its largest peanut production in history - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia preparing its largest peanut production in history

James Morgan expects a high supply  and lower prices James Morgan expects a high supply and lower prices
Mark Daniel is already in the process of harvesting the peanuts Mark Daniel is already in the process of harvesting the peanuts
The harvested peanuts The harvested peanuts
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Georgia is by far the top peanut producing state. After after planting almost 800,000 acres of peanuts, the state is expecting one of the largest crops ever.

UGA Agriculture Extension Agent James Morgan says that will translate into a happier shopping experience for peanut lovers.

"Peanut products in the grocery store are going to be at a lower cost to them due to the fact that we planted a record number of peanuts this year, said Morgan."

Mark Daniel farms peanuts among other products at Mark's Melon Patch.

He says advancements in peanut disease prevention have helped reduce problems such as Tomato spotted wilt virus and boost yields.

"Everybody was like, 'what do we do' and the planters started to come up (with fixes)," said Daniel. "UGA was instrumental in that, coming up with new varieties that could combat that."

Virus prevention and a good amount of rain are contributing to the high yields.  But a peanut surplus isn't necessarily great news for farmers.

"Even though the price to the farmer may be lower," Morgan reminded. "The upside is the consumer will benefit from this crop." 

"Dry land crops that don't have irrigation are going to make a lot more than they typically do," said Daniel who started his patch at the age of 17. "And so that's why the yield is going to be son much higher."

But Daniel warns consumers and farmers not to count their peanuts before their picked.

"I mean you could have a tropical storm that could knock out a fourth of your yield, so you can't count your chickens before they hatch. It's just all estimates right now."

Copyright 2015 WALB.  All rights reserved. 

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