Farmers talk about crops as GA Peanut Tour kicks off -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Farmers talk about crops as GA Peanut Tour kicks off

Farmers and producers meet in Tifton (Source:WALB) Farmers and producers meet in Tifton (Source:WALB)
Armond Morris, Grower (Source:WALB) Armond Morris, Grower (Source:WALB)
Scott Monfort, UGA Extension (Source:WALB) Scott Monfort, UGA Extension (Source:WALB)
Bob Kemerait, Plant Pathologist (Source:WALB) Bob Kemerait, Plant Pathologist (Source:WALB)

Farming is never easy, but south Georgia peanut farmers said that this season has been especially challenging.

They talked about those challenges Tuesday night as the 30th annual Georgia Peanut Tour kicked off in Tifton. 

Visitors from across the world will visit farms in the area. They'll learn what it takes to get peanuts to market, even when the crop is facing challenges. 

One by one, peanut butter sandwiches are being toasted on the griddle, a lot of industry leaders who help bring peanut products to market are in South Georgia this week. 

Around 200 people are meeting with farmers in Tift, Coffee and Ben Hill County.

Grower Armond Morris said that they'll find that farm life isn't as simple as it used to be.   

"It's very hard now just to be a producer not involved with co-ops in some ways to help enhance a farming operation," said Morris. 

And the intertwined nature of the industry speaks to the goal of the Georgia Peanut Tour. 

Growers are hoping to teach people who use peanut products just where they come from. 

Organizer Scott Monfort said that companies that use the crop will be able to better operate when yields are at highs and even lows.

 "Enhance their knowledge base for peanut production and what we have to do as an industry to make that crop sustainable and make it so we can provide them product every year," explained Monfort.   

And one of the hot topics Tuesday night was this year's string of challenges for farmers from heat to late-maturing crops to disease.

"Two factors. The weather we've had and the fact that we're growing so many acres of peanuts. We have short rotations. We have perfect weather for disease. Its been a nightmare in many situations," said Pathology Specialist Bob Kemerait.

But Kemerait said that farmers are fighting to make the best of it after a glut last year. 

And adds their resilience is something those further down supply chain will now be able to understand.

The Georgia Peanut Tour will last through Thursday. 

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