What is in this article?:
- Marc Shannon: Becoming a farmer one step at a time
- Giving the next generation 'a leg up"
- Record rainfall didn't wash it away
- Marc Shannon, 24, wants to farm, but his second serious year at it came with record to near-record rainfall for extreme south Georgia.
- "Out of any time in my life, though, right now I feel good about the opportunities for a young person who doesn’t mind working hard going into production agriculture," said Wes, Marc's father.
MARC SHANNON'S second serious year of farming was met with record rainfall that for most of the year washed under his peanut field here in Lowndes County, Ga., but it taught him a real-life lesson to keep moving forward with.
Record rainfall didn't wash it away
This year, Marc’s got 37 acres of peanuts and 20 acres of cotton of his own. He’d like to double that acreage next year, maybe even more.
“I’m trying to branch out as fast but as responsibly as possible. I’m kind of lucky to be in the situation I’m in and be able to grow step by step, which is what I’d like to do and not get too big too fast,” Marc said. “But I’m definitely looking to expand.”
Back to the peanut field: It was planted in Georgia Greener variety, Marc said, because it was the only seed left available to him. Though they’ve had good luck with that variety in dryland situation, he said he might have preferred another variety, but with what the field went through this year, variety wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
The field had good potential. It was planted in cotton for more than a decade. No peanuts had been planted on it in recent memory. The soil’s rich and dark with good water-holding capacity, especially for south Georgia.
It would have been a good find, considering most Georgia summer’s come with plenty of dry sunshine mixed with sporadic afternoon thunderstorms. But who’d a figured record rainfall hitting it this year.
“Yeah, it would have been nice to get a bumper crop out of this field but what I really hoped for was to be able to make a little money. And it still has some potential, but we’ll see. The bumper crop would have been nice,” Marc said.
“I’ve seen what daddy had to go through in bad years and know that you really can’t take anything for granted and never say anything is for sure.”
Lesson learned. What lesson? The “What Can You Do” lesson.
Hey, he wants to farm. And like all farmers, young or old, you plan a little and pray a lot (or maybe that’s the other way round). Maybe 30 years down the road the story about his second crop year, or that 2013 summer where it just rained way too much, will be one of the stories he tells to another young farmer having his own “What can you do” moment.
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