Georgia Farmers Crops Soaked, Business Threatened - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Georgia Farmers Crops Soaked, Business Threatened

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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA -

A recent rash of rain has left many farmers underwater, literally.

You'd think that the moisture would help things grow, but in this case it's just sinking their crops and their profits.

"You'd be good if you could even walk in the field right now," explained Bruce Redmond of Shilo Farms.

No one is walking in Shilo Farms cotton fields, much less driving a tractor through them anytime soon.

"This is the worst kind of weather we've had since I've been farming," said Shilo Farms' Larry Redmond. "Most folks say this is the worst they've ever seen"

Days and days and days of rain have left acres of Shilo Farms cotton and peanut crops underwater, and unable to grow.

"See these little pegs right here," points out Bruce. "Each one of those pegs will be a peanut, and if it stays in water like this the pegs will rot from all their moisture."

Bruce Redmond has 500 acres of peanuts right now, dozens of those swimming in puddles.

Waters which stop farmers from spreading much needed chemicals for growth and to avoid disease.

"Like me and you, we need oxygen to survive," explains Bruce Redmond.
"Same thing with the plants. They have to have oxygen to the roots to survive."

The Redmond's normally hope to get 3,500 pounds of peanuts per acre. But when acres after acre is still underwater, that means no peanuts, no money and the possibility of disease.

"The heat and humidity in the air, all the water and shade for the peanuts," says Bruce. "It's perfect atmosphere to grow bacteria."

Shilo Farms peanuts are already stunted and behind schedule for a September harvest.

Their cotton crop struggling to make its October delivery date.

Bruce and his crew are just hoping Mother Nature gives them a break.

"Could you turn it off for a couple weeks so we can get out there are get something done?"

How wet are we?

In the first six months of 2013, Georgia has gotten more than 35 inches of rain.

That's more than all of 2012.

In the Coastal Empire, we are ten inches above normal.

That's wreaking havoc on crops like cotton, soybeans, watermelon and peanuts.

Experts call Georgia's peanut crop the worst in twenty years.

U.S. farmers are expected to produce 1.8 million tons of peanuts this year. That's down 13 percent.

Peanut butter companies are making you pay for it.

Most have risen their prices by 20-40% already.

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