Tour participants were able to learn more about the grading process for peanuts and the sorting, drying and storage methods at a Peanut Partners buying point in Douglas, Ga. during the 2016 Georgia Peanut Tour. As peanuts enter the buying point the semitrailers of peanuts are dried and then samples are taken from the trailers for grading. The peanuts are graded by employees of the Georgia Federal State Inspection Service. Peanut Partners is a relatively new business to Coffee County, co-owners Clarkie Leverette, Phil Murray, and Lyle Gaskins opened the peanut facility in August 2015.
Mark von Waldner has served as the county extension agent in Coffee Co. for four years. Prior to his time in Coffee Co. von Waldner served as the county extension agent in Atkinson Co. for 23 years. “Peanuts have been one of my favorite crops and we are excited the peanut tour is coming through Coffee County this year, he says.” This year Coffee Co. has over 50,000 acres of peanut planted, which is a lot more than the counties average due to low cotton prices “Peanuts are very important to us. The crop this year has been tough; each field has been hit or miss with rains,” von Waldner adds. Irrigated peanuts in the county still looks pretty good, but it’s going to be a tough call on dry land as when to dig. Farmers in Coffee Co. have had some issues with white mold, mostly dry weather has caused lesser cornstalk borers problem and some burrowing bug and spider mite issues. “Overall, Coffee Co. is expected to have a pretty good crop, it is just not going to be the best we’ve ever had due to the drought.”