The calendar may say early March, but for local farmers it’s saying it’s almost time to start the new crop year. After being hit by several major weather systems last year, local farming experts say a good 2005 is crucial.
Farm land around Lowndes County and the rest of our region may look pretty inactive right now, but farmers are gearing up for the start of the 2005 vegetable growing season, and local farming experts say a good start is essential.
Mickey Fourakers, a Lowndes ag extension agent, says, "It’s important that we have a good start because you only have as good a crop as your start with, so if you start off with half a crop then that's the best you can expect to make, but if we get a good planting season, if we get a good stand, then we'll have great potential."
Local farmers say there will be one more week before they start returning to their fields to start making final preparations for the upcoming growing season. They say it’s very important to get the best return on their investment this year, considering all the problems they had to deal with last year.
Fourakers adds, "Last year our vegetable crop was really hurt when four hurricanes came through in the fall, so we've got a lot of farmers who got by because of higher prices last year, but we've got some farmers who are hurting financially because of the storms."
Hurting farmers are now hopeful the new season will heal the wounds caused in 2004. Farmers also say the rainy weather last week and the sunny weather this week are good signs that a good crop could be on the way.