Proud to be a Farmer: Lee Cromley

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT
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BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A Bulloch County farmer has been carrying his family’s work for more than 40 years.

He and his family take care of more than 2,400 acres of peanuts and cotton each year.

Lee Cromley and other peanut farmers might still be more than a month away from planting. But they’re still busy planning the season.

“This time of the year, we’re working on soil samples, fertilizer applications, beginning to kill some cover crops, that sort of thing. There’s always something to do,” said Cromley.

Growers have seen supply costs jump, while some became harder to find. But prices remained the same...making it harder to break even. He expects the same this year.

“This is one of those years where we’re going to buckle down as much as we can, cut as many costs as we can, without sacrificing yields.”

He’s one of 4,000 peanut growers in Georgia that collectively grow more peanuts than the rest of the nation combined. He’s grateful for a statewide group that helps look out for growers.

“Groups like the peanut commission stay on top of things that we just don’t have time to dedicate time to. Issues like the farm bill, or trade issues, or environmental issues.”

He says he’s grateful for the group’s promotion efforts to find more markets and their research to help growers be more productive.

“In the last 15-20 years, there have been improvements in products and equipment and technology that have made things possible that weren’t possible before.”

While agriculture becomes more scientific, it remains unpredictable from one season to the next. This sixth generation farmer says he remains committed and proud for a host of reasons.

“I’m proud of the fact we have embraced the opportunities to become more environmentally sensitive.”

And that pride makes all the challenges worth while.