Monday, August 29, 2011

The Irene Disaster

The part of the disaster from Hurricane Irene we see from the rain and flooding and trees blown over are certainly evident. What is less evident is the impact Irene has had on our crops in south Georgia.

Irene caused the big sucking sound which was accompanied by a strong west wind to rob the atmosphere of any humidity. When you don't sweat at 99 degrees the atmosphere is really dry. This is not good and the next real chance of rain is still essentially a week away. We needed the rain from Irene.

The crop has really deteriorated quite a bit the last couple weeks.

Not good for an already tight supply.

Farmers, if you are not contracted don't be surprised to see peanuts at $1500 before the 12 harvest. They got to $1436 in '90.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Picked a Fine Time to Leave me Irene

The hopes for finally getting the "rain with a name" seem to have been dashed.

Farmers are telling me we are about out of time to get that general rain. Some farmers are thinking harvest is pretty close now and that they will have to get what they have. We had hoped Irene might come in at the Big Bend of Florida and become a rain event for us with not a lot of wind. Had she taken that path which was projected early, we would have had general rainfall across the peanut belt in Georgia.

Now she is going east and tat is by far the worst thing she can do because she will suck all the moisture out of the air for most of the southeastern peanut belt.

I was in Brooklet over the weekend and peanuts in the flat country near the coast should be lapped and green and lush this time of year but alas I could still see the row of the twins. I am not sure, save a warm Fall and late frost that there is much many of those peanuts can do this year.

I suppose I am back to praying for a miracle for our farmers and so now I am expecting it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Busy Week

This has been a busy week for the Peanut Commission.

We celebrated our fiftieth anniversary helping farmers. We had a groundbreaking for a new headquarters. I personally celebrated twenty-five years as the Commission's Executive Director. And, it all happened Monday.

I had a reporter ask me why the new building and why at this time?

Why the new building? The Commission for many years has discussed a location on I-75 but the cost was always out of reach. Then came Tift County and the old State Patrol Post. We negotiated with the County and bought a piece of land which we could afford. You might ask why I-75? 100,000 vehicles a day go past the site of the new headquarters.

The building is going to be traditional in building cost but much more efficient to operate, including the fact that it will be a net zero energy building.

So, Why now? This has been four years in the making to get to this point and if you consider that building costs are actually down because of the current recession the time couldn't be much better.

We will pay for the building with the sale of our current office in town and with grants, sponsorships and a commemorative brick program.

KMC, the makers of peanut harvest equipment was the first to approach the Commission for a sponsorship opportunity. Lanier Carson, Benny Branch, and the whole group at KMC are way more than a corporation, they are community supporters and that certainly includes the peanut community.