Pests Are Taking a Toll on Crops in the Wiregrass

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

Recent rainfall is helping crops throughout the Wiregrass.

The corn is almost matured and it looks like there will be a substantial harvest. But now, farmers are facing a different kind of problem.

We aren't seeing substantial drought in the area, but one problem that continues to get worse are pests.

It is something that can be treated, but at a cost.

And, that extra money that is needed to keep crops healthy, is taking a toll on farmers.

After two years of drought, it seems 2008 may be the year farmers have been waiting for.

Willie Durr, with the Houston/Henry Co. Extension Office said, "The rainfall has been widespread and that's enabled most crops to get the rain they needed."

While most of the crops in the Wiregrass are shaping up nicely, now there's a new concern for farmers, which is eating away at profits.

Durr added, "We have a lot of bugs attacking crops so people had to invest more into pest management."

If crops continue to grow as they have been this year and if the rain continues, even with the added input costs, farmers could break even and may actually turn a profit.

"We're optimistic,” Durr concluded. “Sixty days out from harvest and we have a good potential crop right now."

The cotton and corn crops look promising right now, as do the peanuts, but farmers need that rainfall to continue in order to keep those crops developing to maturity.

Farmers say this year’s crop isn't a sure thing yet; these crops, especially peanuts aren't very drought resistant, so with out continuous rainfall, they will stop growing. We're just hoping for the rain.

Farmer's will begin harvesting their crops in September.


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