GPC Hosts Senator Visit to South Georgia

Clint Thompson Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC)

By Clint Thompson

Photo by Clint Thompson/Shows U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (left) chatting with Georgia peanut farmer Ross Kendrick.

The Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) hopes a visit from U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) will fuel legislative support for farmers.

When Ossoff toured South Georgia on June 2, he visited with Turner County peanut farmer Ross Kendrick. Kendrick, a GPC board member, expressed concerns to Ossoff about the various obstacles that growers are currently facing.

“What it costs for us to put a crop in, we either need to get more for our commodity prices or let us cut back because diesel is so high and fertilizer costs are so high. We just need help with that one way or the other,” Kendrick said.

Kendrick farms peanuts, cotton, corn and cattle in Turner County. The high input costs are some of the most challenging he has encountered in his 35 years of farming.

“The problems that we’re facing now is the high cost of inputs. We’ve got labor shortages. It’s hard to get labor to help; and then getting equipment worked on. We can’t get parts here to get equipment fixed,” Kendrick said. “The John Deere places and International places are staying backed up because they can’t get parts. They’re having trouble with labor, too. The problems we’re having the last few years is that.”

High Diesel Prices

Diesel has also emerged as a major challenge. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, diesel prices were $5.70 per gallon on June 6, $2.42 more than a year ago and 16 cents more than the prior week.

“I never would have thought fuel would have been a problem for us. The prices now have just about tripled in two years. I never would have believed fuel would have been a shortage. We’re hearing rumors that they want to ration it out to us,” Kendrick said. “We fill up a tractor every day and we run four or five every day and it costs $700 to fill one up every day. When you’re running four or five, you do the math on it. That’s our biggest cost; that and fertilizer.”