Extraordinary peanut harvest is boosting South Georgia economy - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Extraordinary peanut harvest is boosting South Georgia economy

In the fields, tractors continue to dig what agriculture experts said will likely be the biggest peanut harvest in Georgia history. (Source: WALB) In the fields, tractors continue to dig what agriculture experts said will likely be the biggest peanut harvest in Georgia history. (Source: WALB)
Southern Ag is used to bringing in more help during harvest time, but this year's crop size has called for an extraordinary sized fleet. (Source: WALB) Southern Ag is used to bringing in more help during harvest time, but this year's crop size has called for an extraordinary sized fleet. (Source: WALB)
VIENNA, GA (WALB) -

Many South Georgia business employees are hard at work, bringing home what is expected to be the largest peanut harvest ever in Georgia. It's not just farmers, but other businesses supporting the growers, reaping the rewards of this overwhelming harvest.

Tons and tons of peanuts are unloaded from a tractor-trailer rig at the Golden Peanut warehouses in Vienna.  

The peanuts spill out the bottom of the trailer into a conveyor system, moving them into one of the biggest warehouse operations in Georgia. Behind that trailer, dozens and dozens of trucks wait their turn. 

In the fields, tractors continue to dig what agriculture experts said will likely be the biggest peanut harvest in Georgia history. Some said it could be 17 percent larger than the previous largest.

Southern Ag Trucking is one of the many businesses working to help bring that harvest to market.

"Needless to say this is our busiest time on the ag trucking side. We got everything happening now," said Southern Ag President Hugh Nall.

Southern Ag is used to bringing in more help during harvest time, but this year's crop size has called for an extraordinary sized fleet.

"We'll hire an outside 100 to 160 trucks this time of year on top of our 200 trucks to move the peanut product," said Nall.

Southern Ag will probably bring in more than 100 extra drivers to keep bringing peanuts from the fields to the dryers to the warehouse.  

Other businesses supporting the growers, from fuel suppliers to mechanics that repair broken equipment in the fields, said they are stretched to the limit by this harvest.  And that means hopefully big economic gains for those many secondary industries.

"Restaurants, hotels, everything that there is," said Nall. "Where people are purchasing something, it's affected by this harvest season."

Those peanuts keep on coming to the warehouses, truck after truck after truck load. Another reason agriculture is the number one industry in Georgia.

This year, experts said the peanut harvest will push the state to a new economic high.

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