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what it's like...

Friday, October 21, 2016
..to drive across the country side in south GA during the harvesting season: dusty. Whether the crop is peanuts or soybeans or cotton, it all generates a trememdous amount of stuffl floating in the air. I can imagine the clouds of dust that follow the guys driving the tractors and combines when they are finished with work for the day. After being out in the heat, sweating in the brilliant sunshine, and spending hours in that dust and dirt, they are probably caked with layers of mud when they get home.

I've watched the farming families harvesting rows of cotton, rolling the fluff up into big round bales, wrapped in plastic to sit in the fields until the crew comes to transport to the gin. I've seen the big combines harvesting peanuts that have been drying in the fields, lying in the sun in rows, waiting to be gathered and piled into wagons to go to market for sale. Watched the huge machines with tires as tall as a man trundle through the fields of dry soybeans, with streams of the dried legumes shooting into the trailers pulled behind those huge pieces of brightly painted farming implements.

Oddly, I can't remember the last time I saw a field of tobacco. I know it is harvested in the summer, to cure and send to market -but think there are so few farmers here in south GA that even plant it any more, I do not recall seeing any growing in recent years. I guess a combination of poor growing conditions/weather related issues, high labor costs and decreased demand have taken the profit out of growing tobacco as a cash crop.  Maybe other places, but not so much here, where I often travel, and observe the landscape.

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