Rainy summer a positive for peanut farmers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Rainy summer a positive for peanut farmers

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) -

A bumper crop of peanuts could help some South Georgia farmers recover from tough bouts with other crops over the past year. 

Many give credit to something that may have spoiled your summer. Rains may have canceled your golf outing or summer beach trip, but you won't hear any Bulloch County farmer complaining. 

Ryne Brannen has been farming for five years, and his family, for five generations. They thought they'd seen their best peanut season back in 2012. 

"Granddaddy said I wouldn't live to see another one like that," Brannen said. 

The only difference between that one and this one may be better prices then. Showers have come this season so regularly, they've only needed irrigation once, and that's made a big difference. 

"This crop is far better than what we had last year; far better. It was hot and dry for a long period of time," said Brannen. As of today, one year ago, it hadn't rained for six weeks here."

Rainfall and slightly milder temperatures this summer have peanuts thriving. While this later planted field still needs development, others will be ready in weeks. Growers across South Georgia anticipate great yields. 

"Everything is looking really, really good right now. We're getting some preliminary info that could put us in record territory," said Gary Black, Commissioner of Agriculture. 

Brannen says they've dealt with insects and other problems expected from moisture, but they'd rather have that than drought. He says peanuts remain their make-or-break crop. 

"As the peanut crop goes, that's how the whole operation goes in a given year. If our peanut crop loses money, we lose money, all across the board," he said. 

Brannen says they need a couple more rains over the next two-and-a-half to three weeks to finish the peanuts and make them all they can be. 

According to the state peanut commission, Georgia farmers produced more than half of America's peanuts - more than 1.7 million tons.

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