Summer heat taking its toll on peanut crops in Bulloch Co. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Summer heat taking its toll on peanut crops in Bulloch Co.

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

We've all felt the heat from this summer's streak of 90 degree days. But local crops don't get any break from the sweltering sun and farmers are trying to keep them alive.

You can see the stark contrast of difference irrigation makes on these peanuts. On one side, the dark green plants that fall under the wingspan of that irrigation system. The other, the silvery green plants that fall just outside it and have to tough out this season on their own.

Peanut plants baked under the summer sun with no break in sight. The only help comes from the pivot that sprays water on the parched leaves and soil.

“We’ve always wanted to use the irrigation as a supplement and not a necessity. But for the past month to six weeks, we've just been trying to keep them alive,” said farmer Hal Crumley.

He can only run irrigation to a fourth of his peanut fields and the daily heat wave of 90 plus degree days can evaporate a quarter inch of that moisture each day.

The crop also costs them more. The motors that run these pivots burn electricity and do it at a rate that turns the meter box's wheel faster than this sprayer.

“And it's spinning so fast, it looks like it needs a grease fitting,” said Crumley.

He figures they may end up with half of a normal harvest, but a few showers over the next few weeks could help them turn off the sprayers and hope for a better crop.

If there's a positive side to all this, Crumley said the heat that's slammed the peanuts has also slammed the weeds.

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