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Tropical Storm Threatens Peanut Harvesting in Georgia


Peanut harvesting is in full swing and the clock is ticking.

"It's time to get all the crops out and hopefully get all of the money back that we spent," Brad Thompson, with Thompson Family Farms said.

Fall also means all the hard work they've done is paying off.

"We see the culmination of the farmers work throughout the year. They've been taking care of their crop, having the inputs that they have, praying for good weather and then fall is harvest time so it's a great time," Seminole County Extension Agent Rome Etheridge said.

Many Georgia farmers are behind schedule thanks to Mother Nature.

Peanut farmers are speeding up their picking, but with the tropical storm ahead it may slow some things down.

"These peanuts here we're plowing them up a little early, about five days early because we're scared to leave them in the ground. The vines are going down, and we're scared we could lose some peanuts," Thompson said.

More than two inches of rain could mean a big delay and even bigger losses.

"We're worried about it. That could inhibit digging. We don't need the soil to be too wet or we have trouble with digging, trouble with peanuts coming off, trouble with more dirt in the peanuts and then of course we need three or four days after digging, of good sunshine to dry the peanuts and pick them,” Etheridge said.

Etheridge is warning farmers to prepare for anything.

"If their vines are going down, if their vines don't look good or 50% of the leaves are gone, then they might want to go and dig them ahead of this tropical storm coming in, so they'll be on top of the ground so we won't lose as many peanuts in the soil," Etheridge said.

Right now, yields are good but this weekend will put a time table on things.


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