Plenty of peanuts in 2012
The Georgia Peanut Tour stopped in Albany Monday to educate members of the peanut community from the fields, to the shellers, to the packaging companies about this year's crop.
"We try and give them a snapshot of the condition of the crop, the progress of the crop, and the amount of effort that goes in from all segments here in Georgia," said Georgia Peanut Tour spokesman, John Beasley.
With Georgia peanut farmers planting more than 725,000 acres in 2012, Beasley believes this could be one of the most productive peanut years in history, but he's not getting his hopes up just yet.
"There's still a long way to go, we've got to get this crop harvested, and so we can't call it done until it's done. But right now the potential is very good both on the yield side, and on the quality side," said Beasley.
But althought the harvest looks to be fantastic in 2012, experts agree that it's the consumer who really sees the profits.
"I think we're on the rise as far as consumption, we're going to have a phenomenal crop this year, with phenomenal crops come low prices and that's a real challenge for the farmer to find stability," said Georgia Peanut Tour spokesman, Don Koehler.
And finding that stability could be even more difficult with the newly passed agricultural bill. However Koehler says they're working on changing that piece of legislation to better protect the peanut production process.
"We have a bill in the house that's much better, we've got to have a safety net. We don't have a board of trade to go trade peanuts on, so it's all private sale to shellers, and we have to have some kind of safety net when the markets go awry," said Koehler.
The peanut tour will continue through Thursday, and both Koehler and Beasley say they are ecstatic about this season's harvest.