Local News

Sweet potato farmers say they have growing problem

Posted October 13, 2010 5:22 p.m. EDT
Updated October 13, 2010 6:44 p.m. EDT

— The owners of sweet potato farm near Garner say they have a growing problem on their hands – people are stealing their crop.

Ronny Langdon and Gerry Sutton, owners of Brook Hill Farms near the intersection of Ten Ten and Old Stage roads, say that they’ve lost an estimated $300 in recent weeks because of passersby picking the crop without permission and without paying.

Wednesday morning, they say, they arrived at the farm to find 14 parked vehicles of people picking sweet potatoes.

“We’ve always had to deal with it, but it seems like it’s a little bit worse this year than normal,” Langdon said.

The two say they are also seeing the same problem on farms they own in Johnston and Harnett counties.

“We’re out here working hard, and this is our livelihood,” Sutton said.

It’s not just sweet potatoes. The owner of a nearby pumpkin farm says he often finds pumpkins missing from his crop.

The farmers say they often allow customers into certain areas of their farms if they ask permission.

Langdon and Sutton say they have thought about posting signs in an attempt to curb the loss.

“It's been a tough year with the weather and all we've had, and you add what we're dealing with now at harvest time,” Langdon said.