Southeast Georgia Blueberries, Tobacco Ruined by Rain


BLACKSHEAR – Blueberry season is a washout for most Southeast Georgia growers.

Colder-than-normal weather decimated high-bush blueberries early in the season. Heavy rains over the past several weeks have ruined much of the rabbit-eye berries now in the fields, which have been too muddy to harvest, University of Georgia Agriculture Extension Service agents said.

“The question is not can we salvage the season, it’s can we harvest what we’ve got and make it attractive to the market?” said Danny Stanaland, area blueberry agent for the extension service.

Mom’s blueberries bear so heavily that even with 50% of her blueberries lost, there is still quite enough for both of us! I’ve had blueberry bushes here before; unfortunately, the heavy clay soil and lack of drainage ensures unhappy, sickly plants that die just because a tropical storm dumps 10″ or 20″ of rain and they are under a few inches of water for a week or so. Prima donnas.

The rains also have taken a heavy toll on tobacco, peanuts and cotton in Coffee, Pierce and Ware counties, as well as the rest of the region, county agents said.

“It’s too late to replant tobacco,” said James Jacobs, county agent for adjacent Pierce and Ware counties.

Jacobs said the rains pounded many of the young plants into the ground, while others were washed out or rotting in waterlogged fields.

He estimated at least 25 percent are going to have to replant their peanuts and cotton because of rotted seed and washed out plants. The corn crop also has been seriously damaged because of flooding and erosion, Jacobs said.

Soggy fields are preventing Coffee County farmers from applying herbicides, replanting or harvesting their crops, county agent Eddie McGriff said.

To make up for the tobacco loss, McGriff said, a majority of Coffee farmers are replanting with peanuts or cotton.

Jacobs expects many Pierce and Ware farmers now will plant soybeans as well as peanuts in an effort to offset their losses.

The Florida potato farmers aren’t alone in their losses from unseasonal rain this year. OTOH, the people with the pine plantations are grateful that their trees didn’t go up in smoke due to the drought breaking when it did.

10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Robert D said,

    die just because a tropical storm dumps 10″ or 20″ of rain and they are under a few inches of water for a week or so. Prima donnas.

    Geeze swampie, you sure keep me smiling. 😀

  2. 2

    bonz said,

    [quote]”I view it more as a health issue than a tax issue,” said Crist, a Republican who broke with a career-long opposition to tax increases. ” Ronald Reagan used to say if you want to kill something, tax it. It wouldn’t be bad if we killed smoking. It would save a lot of lives.”

    As of July 1, Florida’s new cigarette tax is $1.34 per pack. An equivalent increase applies to smokeless and pipe tobacco, but not cigars.

    The extra $1 tax is expected to generate more than $900 million a year, to be used to offset Medicaid costs and fund cancer research.[/quote]

    If you want to kill something,tax it……grab your ankles American middle class

  3. 3

    swampie said,

    Bonz, I suspect lots of people will suddenly find occasion to visit smoke shops on the Rez, particularly down in your area.

    The whole “cigarette tax” thing is completely fraudulent. What happened to all of the money from the tobacco settlement? Was that only used to treat smokers? Noooooooo. Will this $1.34 a pack tax be used solely for treating diseases that smokers get? Noooooooo.

    I’m a nonsmoker and even I can see that smokers are gettin’ hosed.

  4. 4

    swampie said,

    If you want to kill something,tax it……grab your ankles American middle class.

    Yep. We’ve been moving preemptively to limit our anticipated huge tax increases as much as possible. Gettin’ laid off (if I’m not called back) helps by lowering our tax bracket as well. Now if I could just start a business that deals in a lot of cash, like a lawn-care company, but I don’t think I could do many lawns per day with a reel mower and a scythe.

  5. 5

    swampie said,

    OTOH, that lawn-care company using non-mechanized tools may be perfect for a tax deduction.

    Of course then it would be one of those “green” jobs that Obama has been yapping about.

  6. 6

    kcduffy said,

    Not only that, Swampie, but if you market it that way, take only a select few clients, and triple the going rate the ‘mechanized’ guys charge, you wouldn’t even have to work very hard (relatively speaking, of course). The Monied Eco-Libs would beat a path to your door!

    Let me know when you require the services of a secretary. 😀

  7. 7

    Princess Bernie said,

    Or, you could get some of that carbon credit offset money that the greenies are so happy to pay out. Subsidized green lawn care.

    That’s the ticket

  8. 8

    swampie said,

    Yep. There would be no loud roar of a lawnmower to interrupt their slumber!

    Dang. The downside would be that I would probably have to slap an I (heart) Obama sticker on the truck.

  9. 9

    kcduffy said,

    Nah, just write WWF in a corner of the window. Should be enough to throw ’em off.

  10. 10

    swampie said,

    Heh. And if somebody objects, I could be all surprised and say “Whatchoo talkin’ about? That’s from the old World Wrestling Federation”.

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: