Peanut farmers commended

Published 8:23 am Friday, February 25, 2011

Hats off to fourth-generation Drewryville farmers Jeffrey, Mark and Chris Pope for being named Virginia’s top peanut producer for 2010 — a tough year for southeastern Virginia farmers.

Jeffrey, from left, Mark and Chris Pope with Cedar View Farms in Drewryville were Virginia's top peanut producers in 2010. -- SUBMITTED

Operating under Cedar View Farms, the Popes raised 4,824 pounds of peanuts per acre during one of the hottest and driest summers in recent memory. For the last few years, the honor has gone to Surry County,

The Popes admit they had the edge. They irrigate their peanuts with water from a 50-acre pond.

In addition to irrigation, family’s peanut yield from 350 acres improved due to new products on the market that help fight disease.

Peanut farmers can expect another good year; prices for peanuts, as well as cotton, are up. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services expects cotton acreage in Virginia to increase by nearly 27 percent in 2011, from 82,250 acres in 2010 to an estimated 105,000 acres.

So let’s hope for a milder summer with a little more rain to help the farmers in Isle of Wight and Southampton counties.