Like Father, Like Son on Joe Boddiford Farms

The first farm visit on the Georgia Peanut Tour was Joe Boddiford’s Farms. The farm is operated by Joe and his son Knapp. Joe, a third-generation farmer, has been farming for over 45 years and serves on the Georgia Peanut Commission Board. During this farm stop, Joe showed tour attendees an array of tractors used on their farm including an old 1965 3010 John Deere which Joe has actually owned twice. The tractor was bought new by Joe’s father and was what Joe start farming with until he decided to sell it in the 90s.  Ten years or so later, Joe was at a tractor sale in South Carolina and said, “That’s my tractor!” Of course, Joe paid more for it than what he sold it for, but it was well worth it.kb2

Joe’s son, Knapp, is a recent graduate of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College located in Tifton, Ga. After receiving a degree in diversified agricultural with a concentration in agricultural business, Knapp returned to the family farm where he knew he would always end up. Knapp decided to attend ABAC after graduation instead of just going straight into farming because he wanted to learn more about the business side of agriculture and once at ABAC, he fell in love with the college and the people and knew the knowledge and connections would help him advance on and off his farming operation. Knapp says returning to the farm has been a challenging but rewarding experience, but couldn’t see himself anywhere else. Knapp’s favorite thing about working with his dad is being able to learn from his years of experience but also getting to teach him something new every now and then. One of the most valuable lessons Joe has taught Knapp is the value of a hard day’s work because the whole act of farming is to complete the task on time and to do it well to make a crop. Knapp is already showing much success. In 2016, Knapp was awarded as National FFA Star Finalist in Ag Placement. This means he was one of the top four finalist in the nation in this category and anyone that has worked for someone in the agricultural industry could compete in this category.

While at the farm, attendees were able to see peanuts being dug and harvested, they also had the opportunity to see corn harvesting.  They were even able to see Knapp turn on the irrigation pivots from the touch of button thanks to a mobile app on his phone. Knapp made the comment that he could even turn the pivots on and off while he was in Tifton at college. Kendall Kirk, a precision agricultural engineer with Clemson University made an appearance at this field stop and talked about the research Clemson University is doing and on Joe Boddiford Farms. Kirk and Clemson University has been working with the Boddiford’s for roughly the past five years. He talked to attendees about attendees about the different technology on the tractor.  The main focus Kirk wanted attendees to look at was the automated depth control system on the peanut digger, which is not available commercially yet, but Clemson is in the process of working with AMADAS on putting the system together.kb1

During the visit at Boddiford Farms, tour attendees were able to hear a crop update by Ray Hick, Screven County Extension Agent.  “I deal with homeowners in the urban area, lawn problems. I always say it’s the little old gray-haired lady with the rose bush problems and everything up to the major producers of crops here in the area. I may be in town in the morning then on the farm with a row crop producer talking about his cotton crop or his peanut crop in the afternoon, says Hicks.”  When it comes to challenges farmers have faced in Screven County Hicks goes on to say, “This year the farmers have had a wide diversity of challenges. Of course, we started off being dry, then we got into a wet period and it delayed some of our plantings, so really, we have two different crops in cotton and peanuts. We have an early crop and a late crop. Now with all the wet weather, it has been trying for the producers to keep fungicides on top of the fungicide sprays, but we have not had to turn the irrigation systems on as much so that will be a saving for them at the end of the year.” Ag South Farm Credit also provided boiled peanuts for participants to enjoy during this stop, and for many, this southern staple was first time experience.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

First Point of Delivery – Tillman and Deal Buying Point

2018_gpt_savannah_0079sOn the first stop of the 32nd annual Georgia Peanut Tour, attendees visited Tillman and Deal Peanut Buying Point in Statesboro, Georgia. The new buying point opened in the fall of 2017 and buys peanuts for Premium Peanut, a peanut sheller based out of Douglas, Georgia. Premium Peanut owns and operates the newest and largest peanut shelling facility in the world. The shelling plant was founded in the fall of 2014 when seven buying points in South Georgia came together to form Premium Peanut. The shelling facility is grower-owned and was designed to integrate the peanut production process, stabilize the market for growers in the region, and ensure a stable supply of peanuts at a competitive cost.

The Premium Peanut shelling facility was designed with the best and newest equipment in the industry, possessing a shelling capacity of over 300,000 tons of peanuts per year. In January of 2016, one month ahead of schedule, shelling operations began on the 2015 harvested crop. In 2018, Premium Peanut expanded to include a filtered crude peanut oil facility located adjacent to the shelling plant. The new operation has the capacity to produce more than 3 million gallons of peanut oil per year.

Tillman and Deal is the first-place farmers deliver their peanuts to at harvest time. The peanut buying point receive, weigh, clean, dry, inspect, grade and prepare peanuts for storage and shelling. All United States produced peanuts must be inspected by the Federal-State Inspection Service at a registered peanut buying point.

2018_gpt_savannah_0076sTillman and Deal buys peanuts from approximately 30 farmers in the area and grades and stores nearly 30,000 tons annually. As peanuts enter the buying point, a sample is taken to determine the moisture level of the peanuts. All peanuts need to be at least 10.5 percent moisture level or below. If the peanuts are above 10.5 percent in moisture then the peanuts are dried in the wagons to decrease the moisture level. The semi-trailers are hooked up to large dryers where air flows through the peanuts and dry them at 105 degrees F. The semi-trailers hold 30 tons of peanuts per load.

2018_gpt_savannah_0107sOnce the peanuts are dry then a sample is taken from the trailer where the peanuts are graded by the Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service. Peanuts are classed by weight, damage and foreign material. If the sample has more than 7 percent foreign material then the peanuts need to run through the cleaner. Once clean, peanuts are put in elevator and placed on a conveyor belt for storage in a warehouse that can hold 15,000 tons of peanuts. Currently, Tillman and Deal only stores the peanut variety, Georgia O6G, in the warehouse on site. All other varieties grown by farmers in the area are shipped directly to Premium Peanut for storage.

Once peanuts leave the buying point and shelling plant then they are shipped by train or semi-trailers to manufacturers who process peanut butter, candy products or delicious roasted peanuts.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

Overview on USAID Peanut Innovation Lab

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut is part of U.S. government’s strategy to fight hunger and poverty around the world. In 2016, Congress passed the Global Food Security Act, a law that recognizes it is in this country’s national security interest to promote global food security, resilience, and nutrition.

The law called for a national strategy to combat hunger, and Feed the Future is an integral part of that strategy, bringing together all aspects of American ingenuity to empower farmers in partner countries to produce nutritious food for their people.

Through the Peanut Innovation Lab and approximately two dozen other Innovation Labs, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) utilizes the expertise of top U.S. universities to solve food production, storage, processing and marketing challenges that prevent partner countries from producing enough food. These Innovation Labs aren’t physical buildings, but networks of researchers in the United States and abroad working together to improve food security and reduce poverty in key countries.

Dave Hoisington, who has led the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab at UGA since 2013 and holds a joint appointment as senior research professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at UGA, continues as director.

2018 Georgia Peanut Crop Update

The Georgia Peanut Tour kicked off with a Hot Topics Seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 18. During the seminar Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist provided an update on the 2018 Georgia peanut crop. According to Monfort, farmers have a very good crop to look at although we have had several challenges that we have had to face in 2018. We’ve had a lot of rain and we usually don’t complain about rain, but this year we’ve had a tremendous amount of rain throughout the growing year and it has caused some of the crop to be quite a bit late. The peanut production has basically divided into two crops this year. We’ve got our early crop and our late crop and for the most part we are just now getting to dig this early crop and it looks pretty good right now. We are dealing with diseases and insect problems as well as some harvest problems just because of the rain we continue to get. We need a good bit of dry weather in order to get these peanuts out of the ground, get them dry and get them harvested and to the buying point. As you are out this week looking at the different processes we go through to harvest this crop you’ll understand more of what I’m talking about here. Some of these areas will be lush and green then some areas will have dry pockets. For the most part this year its average to above average depending on how well the weather holds out and stays hot through October. That’s going to be a big factor here to how this crop turns up. At this point we are saying that we do have a good crop, but we do have quite a few challenges we are facing and dealing with this year.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

Welcome to the 32nd annual Georgia Peanut Tour

Welcome to the 32nd annual Georgia Peanut Tour. This year’s tour chairman Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist, welcomes all attendees, whether this is your first time on the tour or if you are a “peanut tour veteran.” As in previous years, you will be immersed in the production efforts of one of Georgia’s most important agricultural crops and we hope this gives you a better insight not only into the challenges farmers face, but also reasons why we say that the world’s best peanuts are produced here in Georgia. Through the tour, we hope all attendees will come to better understand and appreciate the heritage of peanut production in our state. The 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour is staged in the eastern region of our state’s  production area.  During the tour attendees will be able to see peanut production first-hand while touring four different peanut farms in Screven, Bulloch, Burke and Emanuel County. Attendees will also see research conducted by scientists at the University of Georgia Southeast Research and Education Center in Midville, Georgia; tour a peanut buying point in Statesboro and the Georgia Port Authority in Savannah.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

2018 Georgia Peanut Tour set for Savannah area

The thirty-second annual Georgia Peanut Tour will be held September 18-20, 2018, in Savannah, Georgia, and the surrounding area. The tour brings the latest information on peanuts while giving a first-hand view of industry infrastructure from production and handling to processing and utilization. Tour stops will be made in several peanut producing counties including Bulloch, Burke, Candler and Screven County.

Attendees can expect to see first-hand nearly every aspect of peanut production in the state. This year’s tour hosts many exciting stops including on-farm harvest demonstrations and clinics, research at the University of Georgia Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center and a tour of the Georgia Port Authority in Savannah.

The tour kicks off this year with the Hot Topics Seminar on Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. at Crosswinds Golf Club, Savannah, Georgia. The seminar topics include an update on the 2018 Georgia peanut crop and a special focus on the export market.

The Georgia Peanut Commission, University of Georgia-Tifton Campus and Griffin Campus, Southwest Research & Education Center, Attapulgus Research & Education Center, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Peanut Research Lab coordinate the tour.

Hotel accommodations can be made at the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport in Savannah, Georgia, by calling 912-964-5550. Rooms are available at the rate of $129 plus tax for a standard room. Be sure to ask for the Georgia Peanut Tour room block. The room block deadline is Aug. 19, 2018.

Visit georgiapeanuttour.com to register and view tour schedule. The early bird registration rate is $75 prior to Aug. 10, 2018. For more information, contact Hannah Jones at hannah@gapeanuts.com or call at 229-386-3470.

Register Online
Download Registration Form
Tour Schedule
Wednesday, Sept. 19 – Map & Driving Directions
Thursday, Sept. 20 – Map & Driving Directions
Reserve Hotel Room Online
Download Sponsorship Info

Who are the Bloggers?

Whitney Yarbrough, Joy Crosby and Jessie Bland with the Georgia Peanut Commission. Thanks to Grant Tuttle for the photo.

Whitney Yarbrough, Joy Crosby and Jessie Bland with the Georgia Peanut Commission. Thanks to Grant Tuttle for the photo.

We have enjoyed sharing the stories from the 31st annual Georgia Peanut Tour. Through the tour, attendees have seen peanut harvest first-hand, met former President Jimmy Carter and learned more about all segments of the U.S. peanut industry. This year the blog was prepared by Joy Crosby, Jessie Bland and Whitney Yarbrough with the Georgia Peanut Commission. We hope you enjoy browsing and reminiscing through the blog.

We sincerely appreciate each of you for joining us on this exciting tour and hope, through the experience of this tour, you will understand and appreciate the heritage of peanut production in our state. Each of us engaged in the peanut industry – farmers, buyers, processors, researchers, Extension personnel, Georgia Peanut Commission representatives and everyone in between, are proud Georgia is the leading peanut producer in the United States, and we are all the more happy you could join us either on the tour or through this blog!

View the 2017 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

Quality Control at JLA

2017_gpt_albany_0456sOn the final stop of the 31st Georgia Peanut Tour, attendees were able to learn about the quality control measures of the industry through utilizing the services of JLA, USA. J. Leek Associates, Inc. was formed in 1990 as a technical services organization providing strategic quality assurance systems in the food and beverage industry. Their experience in analyzing food products spans the global market. From a humble beginning in Southwest Georgia, their business has grown to include locations in Argentina, Brazil, and China. With over five locations across the United States, JLA USA headquarters is located in Albany, Georgia. As a marketer and producer of confidence regarding safety and performance of food and beverage ingredients and products, JLA provides their clients with knowledge and reliable, cost-efficient systems and information to assure that their product safety and performance needs are met. JLA assists companies with analysis and certification to carry their products from shore to shore, or private consultation in highly technical areas to assist them in meeting the unique challenges of the food industry. JLA has long-term expertise in peanuts and treenuts. Their services include aflatoxin management and testing, quality measurements such as oil chemistry, total fat, moisture, protein, as well as flavor and grade. They also offer services on advanced chemistry and microbiology tests of finished products.

View the JLA, USA presentation.

View the 2017 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

National Peanut Research Lab

usdaThe Georgia Peanut Tour visited the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga. This lab was established in 1965 for the purpose of improving farming practices. Since that time, scientists have studied a variety of factors involved in peanut production from better planting practices to better irrigation practices. Scientists have also researched ways to improve harvesting methods, storage methods, and the better use of environmental and financial resources.

At this stop, Georgia Peanut Tour attendees were able to see firsthand the ongoing research programs at the USDA/ARS National Peanut Research Lab and hear from some of the researchers themselves. NPRL conducts a variety of projects to assist the peanut industry focusing on environmental research, systems research, flavor/quality research, peanut grading research, storage research and mycotoxin research with particular emphasis on the aflatoxins. The Laboratory conducts research toward improving quality, cleaning, storing and marketing of peanuts. Research is oriented toward solving the major problems confronting the peanut producer, handler, manufacturer, and the consumer. NPRL is also intricately involved in studies toward developing new and improved production marketing systems to reduce unit cost, enhance domestic and foreign use of peanuts and provide a safe, high quality product to the consumer. To learn more about the National Peanut Research Laboratory visit them on their website.

View the 2017 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album 

 

 

Rooted in History

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Photo courtesy of heritagecenter.org

To continue a day full of rich South Georgia history tour attendees ended the day  at the Thronateeska Heritage Center. Thronateeska Heritage Center is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1974 for the purpose of historic preservation and science education in Albany and Southwest Georgia.

Thronateeska’s campus includes a history museum, science museum, rail car display, a 40′ full dome HD planetarium, the Georgia Museum of Surveying & Mapping, and the South Georgia Archives. The museum facilities are housed in historic structures and new construction designed to reflect and retain the railroad heritage of the area. In 1974, concerned and community-spirited citizens championed the cause for revitalization of the historic downtown railroad depot area. Thronateeska Heritage Foundation, Inc. resulted from the merger of the Southwest Georgia Historical Society, organized in 1969, and the Albany Junior Museum, Inc., founded in 1959 by the Junior League of Albany.

Through Thronateeska’s efforts, the 1913 Union Station depot, located in what is now known as Heritage Plaza, was preserved as a legendary landmark, converted into a museum, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

The Wetherbee Planetarium was open during the event and attendees were able to watch several showings as well as tour the science museum.

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Attendees had the choice of Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream.

At the end of the evening, tour attendees were able to enjoy the annual low country boil and supper was finished up with a variety of peanut butter flavored ice creams. As always, the Georgia Peanut Tour appreciates the support from Dow AgroSciences and look forward to this event each year., So, a special thanks to all who have a hand in making this dinner such a successful night! This low country boil tradition has been sponsored by Dow AgroSciences for all 31 Georgia Peanut Tours.

View the 2017 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album