Important commodity

Published 7:49 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

Down on the farm—It’s a special edition inside this Saturday’s newspaper, and it’s a place that has excelled in this economy while other areas have faltered.

As Decatur County Extension Office Coordinator Mitchell May reports, the 2010 growing season was exceptional in terms of prices for commodities. And while there were areas of weakness in our local economy, it was agriculture that had a robust year.

May said cotton, corn, peanuts and soybean yields have rated good to excellent for the year. These good yields were rewarded with high market prices.

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According to the latest figures—called farm gate value—Decatur County contributed $189,644,957 to the state’s $11.3 billion agricultural economy. Decatur County is ranked 14th in farm gate value, but third if you use the grower value numbers.

And it’s not just the big crops too, such as peanuts, cotton and corn. Farmers also contribution to our economy by growing tomatoes (which Decatur County is a powerhouse in, making up 45.3 percent of the state’s total contribution toward the tomato farm gate value), okra, sorghum, pecans and timber. They even contributed by leasing their land out to turkey and deer hunters.

What’s come from down on the farm has proven to be our local economy’s saving grace.