Picking peanutsPublished 11:00pm Monday, October 14, 2013
With the government shutdown and the Farm Service Agency office closed, there’s no one to speak collectively for the Pike County farmers.
The story of just how the peanut crop has “faired” in a season of too much rain early and too little rain late can only be told individually.
Dust was in the air early Monday morning as Banks farmer Mike Dubose began gathering the last 25 percent of his 2013 peanut crop.
Dubose and his son, Jake Dubose, planted 480 acres of peanuts. That was about the same number of acres as last year. But this year’s crop will be “decent” as compared to the record harvest of 2012.
“Last year was a bumper crop, a record setting crop,” Dubose said. “It was just one of those years when everything works together and you get that bumper crop.”
Those “bumper” crops, no matter how few and far between, keep farmers in the field and always believing that, when bad years come, “next year will be a better year,” Dubose shared.
The early spring rains came and brought with them great hope for maybe another “bumper crop” of peanuts. But then in rained and rained and rained.
“The excess rain hurt some but we’re going to have a decent crop,” Dubose said. “But, we were blessed. If it had been as dry as it was wet, we would have made nothing. We were fortunate to get what we got, as peanuts go.”
Dubose also had 300 acres of corn and corn production was great, he said.
“Corn was about as good as we’ve ever made,” Dubose said. “We’ve got a lot of hay but the quality’s not that good. But all in all, we’ll make do. That’s what farmers do. We deal with whatever comes our way. We make do.”