BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Farmers may be one of the few groups where COVID-19 takes a back seat to other concerns.
Weather, market prices and more - on top of the coronavirus - make this a year many of them can’t wait to put behind them.
2020 may go down as the craziest year ever in a lot of categories, including agriculture - from late season hurricanes to COVID-19 - not necessarily in the field but when farmers go into town.
Crews roll through Greg Sikes’ cotton field, picking as fast as they can. Heavy rains from hurricanes in late October through last week left plants soaked. They’ve waited days for them to dry, just to have another shower.
“Weeks like last week, where you go the whole week and can’t do anything, really makes you antsy. It makes you want to get the crop out of the field and pushes you to work faster when the weather does get back right,” Sikes said.
It’s just the latest challenge this year. He says he and his crew can easily socially distance when they’re working in a tractor of elsewhere. But making a supply run or taking the crop to the market means interacting in places where they have to deal with people.
“A secretary somewhere gets it, an employee gets it, an office manager gets it and has to quarantine,” Sikes said.
Cotton farmers in Georgia sold nearly 800,000 tons last year. Right now, he says prices seem to be holding and yields and quality remain good. They just need clear days to get it all picked and delivered to the gin.