Graham Ginn wanted his crop planted early this year, mainly due to what happened last year.
The last week of May, Ginn’s corn was well on its way to tasseling. Two days prior, he finished replanting the last of his cotton. The peanut crop had been in the ground about three weeks.
The Georgia-06G twin-row peanut field in Calhoun County, Georgia, located in the southwest corner of the state should have been much closer to overlapping, but a three-week dry spell coupled with record-setting, 100-degree-plus days hampered growth on everything. Center pivots in the distance pumped hard over corn.
Ginn, 39, is married to Julie. Their son Jackson is 14 and daughter Anna Grace is 12. Julie manages the business side of things. Jackson helps his dad, including planting last year and this year. The Ginn family farm is the 2019 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winner for the lower Southeast.
It’s hard to talk about agriculture or much of anything in this part of Georgia without a storm called Michael forcing its way into the conversation. It entered the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 cluster of destruction Oct. 9 and imprinted itself on life around here. But let’s try not to talk about that storm. Let’s talk about Ginn’s peanuts.
Last year, Ginn grew 286 acres of irrigated peanuts and 80 acres of nonirrigated and averaged 5,471 pounds per acre on irrigated and 4,271 pounds per acre on nonirrigated. In all, Ginn grows about 1,100 acres of corn, peanuts and cotton.
He was about half finished harvesting when the hurricane hit. The storm, coupled with excessive rain after it, cut his yields, as it did for most every other grower in the region. (See, there you go. We could only go three sentences farther without that storm meddling back into the story. Let’s try again not to talk about it.)