Ray Davis Jr., left, and Jeff Davis of Davis and Sons Inc. hold up the awards their farm received for being the top peanut producer of Southampton County in 2013. -- SUBMITTED/CHRIS DRAKE
Ray Davis Jr., left, and Jeff Davis of Davis and Sons Inc. hold up the awards their farm received for being the top peanut producer of Southampton County in 2013. -- SUBMITTED/CHRIS DRAKE

Archived Story

Top cotton, peanut producers credit weather, luck for their crop success

Published 10:06am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

FRANKLIN—Weather and luck get much of the credit by two Southampton County farmers for their noteworthy growing season in 2013. Peter Copeland and Davis and Sons Inc. have been named the top cotton and peanut producers, respectively, in Southampton County. Copeland harvested 1,391.54 pounds of cotton per acre on 237 acres. Davis got 5,687.76 pounds of peanuts per acre on 125.9 acres.

“There are no secrets. It’s luck,” said Copeland. “Luck and Mother Nature getting together.”

He remembered 2010 and 2011 were considerable contrasts. Those years Copeland “barely made a bale to the acre,” he said.

But there’s quite a bit of uncertainty for 2014.

“I’m indecisive as I’ve ever been,” Copeland said when asked for plans this year. “We’re coming off two years of high commodity prices – Corn was $7 to $8, now to $4 – “I don’t have a good sense of what to do.

“This is a defensive year. I’ll just hang on, and hope costs for fertilizer, etc., go down.”

“They probably won’t,” he said with a chuckle.

“We had a very successful year,” said Davis. “We had good rainfall through the entire year and a good dry fall for harvesting. The weather cooperated and it worked out for us real well.”

Asked about his plans for the next growing season, Davis could not be definitive.

“Right now it’s too soon to tell. Depends on what mills offers for a price,” he said. “We’ll go from there.”

“Their yields were exceptional,” said Chris Drake. “Peanut yields were as good or better than 2012. Cotton yields were above average, but not as good as the record-setting 2012 cotton crop we experienced.”

Drake, until most recently an extension agent for Southampton County, emceed the presentation of trophies and plaques for Copeland, Davis and other high-ranked farmers at a recent awards banquet in the Regional Workforce Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin.

Other notable cotton producers were:

Carter Smith with 1,122.7 pounds of cotton per acre on 781 acres

Hancock Farms LLC with 1,143.66 pounds of cotton per acre on 338.7 acres

Kenny Edwards with 1,102.26 pounds of cotton per acre on 613.8 acres

B.M. Francis Farms LLC with 1,116.09 pounds of cotton on 369.8 acres

Other notable peanut producers were:

Rogers Farms with 5,499.11 pounds of peanuts per acre on 135.7 acres

Joey Johnson Farms with 5,131.04 pounds of peanuts per acre on 340.1 acres

Foxhill Farms Inc. with 5,114.85 pounds of peanuts per acre on 299.7 acres

Carter Smith Farms LLC with 5,115.35 pounds of peanuts per acre on 273.6 acres

Editor's Picks