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Rain boosts fall crops
Cotton, peanuts, hay 'looking really good'
102109 COTTON HARVEST 02 web
Troy Williams gathers up some loose cotton from a freshly picked field while bailing for local farmer Greg Sikes Wednesday.
    A rainy spring and summer has local farmers reaping bumper crops this fall. Fields are exploding with fluffy white cotton, peanuts are looking good and some farmers are baling a third cutting of hay.
    Bulloch County Agent Pat Todd said some farmers are about a week behind in harvesting cotton, but the crop yield is "looking really good." There may be some places in the county that did not receive the bountiful rainfall that others did, but, for the most part, Todd said the overall cotton crop for Bulloch County looks impressive.
    Row crop farmer Greg Sikes said it was definitely the rainfall that helped his cotton, peanuts, soybeans and corn this year.
    "The crops look above average," he said. "Cotton and peanuts look good. There are some spots in the county where it's been bad, but although it's usually hit and miss, this year has been pretty consistent (with rainfall.)"
    Todd said soybeans suffered a little due to a dry spell in September, but then the rain came to finish the crops. The rain did contribute to a little white mold in some peanut fields, but overall, the crop looks outstanding, he said.
    For hay, the rain was quite a blessing. Following several years of drought that caused a hay shortage, the rains have made the grass grow profusely, he said.
    "We've had a really good hay year," Todd said. "This has been one of the best we've ever had."
    Robert Rushing, who farms in the Register area, said he was baling his third cutting Wednesday. Due to plenty of rain in his end of the county, "We've been able to cut three times this year," he said. "For the past two years we were only able to cut it twice."
    Todd said farmers may plant more wheat this year due to rising prices and moist soil. Bulloch farmers don't usually grow a great deal of oats but conditions are right for planting, he said. Oats are usually planted around the first of November, while wheat and rye are planted in December, he said.

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