The 2011 Georgia Peanut Tour caravan headed out to learn more about peanut research conducted at the University of Georgia with a visit to the Attapulgus Research and Education Center. The research center is located in the deep Southwest corner of Georgia in Attapulgus, Ga. It is a branch experiment station under the Tifton Coastal Plains Experiment Station. It is about 12 miles south of Bainbridge Georgia and 5 miles north of the Florida line. The southern area of southwest Georgia hosts a wide variety of agricultural production with one of its main crops being peanuts. The research center’s location gives it the opportunity to have in abundance the pest problems that affect peanut production for peanut growers. The warm humid climate coming from the Gulf of Mexico creates a haven for insects, disease, nematodes, and weeds – all of which can adversely impact a peanut crop’s quality and yield. Researchers conduct experiments at Attapulgus for the development of pest management systems that address herbicide, insecticide and disease control to help in the battle that all peanut growers face in producing this crop. Development of new plant varieties with pest resistance traits, keeping breeding lines with these traits renewed each year as well as peanut rotation studies are longer term research projects that are also initiated at the center. All of these programs are geared toward reducing the farmers’ production cost with increased efficiency through research which can be passed on to all consumers of peanuts and peanut products.
The 25th Annual Georgia Peanut Tour brings the latest information on peanuts while giving a first-hand view of industry infrastructure from production and handling to processing and utilization. The tour includes a cross section of field conditions, peanut harvest clinics, production research at the University of Georgia Attapulgus Research and Education Center, peanut handling and grading facilities and on-farm demonstrations. The tour also includes a visit to LMC and American Peanut Growers Group in Donalsonville, Ga., Birdsong Peanuts, JLA and Olam Edible Nuts in Blakely, Ga. The event will host participants from more than 12 states and international attendees from Canada, Belgium and Argentina.