Farmers assemble at 34th annual peanut farm show

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- Farmers got a good look at all things peanut Thursday at the 34th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show at the Albany Civic Center.

The show was sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and provided peanut farmers a full day to view farming equipment, products and attend education seminars.

Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris said this year's farm show featured more than 60 exhibitors. More than 1,000 farmers attended the event.

New seed varieties, a peanut production seminar presented by the University of Georgia and a peanut industry-led donation drive for Haiti were some of the highlights of the day.

The GPC Chairman said this year's farm show brought some much-needed good news for peanut farmers.

"We've had to overcome some disappointing times," he said of the peanut industry. "I don't think we have seen a year like last year."

GPC Executive Director Don Koehler said peanut farmers may have some issues this year due to the pending cap-and-trade bill.

"The bill is about sequestering carbon, and companies and farmers can get carbon credits if they can collect enough units," he said.

Koehler said the real problem that farmers will face if the bill is passed is that in order to collect carbon units, soil must not be disturbed.

"That's a big issue for peanut farmers because peanuts grow in the soil," he said.

Koehler stressed the need for Congress to make decisions based on fact and common sense.

"Some of the greatest environmentalists I know are farmers," he said. "They know what is good for the land and their crops."

Congressman Sanford Bishop, who attended the farm show, pledged to work closely with farmers on the legislation.

"I can guarantee you that I won't support it if it comes back the way it went in," he said Thursday.

Good news for farmers this year is the fact that peanut prices are up and demand might be soon.

"We hear that Texas peanut producers may not be able to produce many peanuts this year," said Rodney Dawson of the GPC. "Perhaps the Southeast will be able to pick up some of the work from Texas."