Overview of Seeding Rate Research

The Georgia Peanut Tour attendees learned about the research conducted by University of Georgia Peanut Team members while touring the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center in Plains, Georgia. Scott Tubbs, UGA cropping systems agronomist, discussed some of his research projects focusing on seeding rates when planting. Most of his work focuses on peanut agronomic research, but he also does additional work in cropping systems related to rotations that are built around peanuts and other major crops that are grown in our systems.

He conducts research at multiple locations throughout the state so that the research is representative of all growing areas across the state. Research is conducted at the University of Georgia Southwest Research and Education Center in Plains, the  Southeast Research and Education Center in Midville, the Attapulgus Research and Education Center in the Southwest corner of Georgia and the UGA Tifton Campus. So his research covers the entire state, lots of different soil and climate types to test our trials in multiple different soils and different weather pattern conditions.

The research trial he is conducting at the Plains Research and Education Center is a grow pattern and seeding rate treatment effect on six different cultivars of peanuts. He is testing six different varieties that were bred in four different programs from our public breeding institutions which include: University of Georgia, Auburn University, University of Florida, and the USDA ARS Breeding Programs. This trial is looking at twin row versus single row peanut using three different seeding rates of 5, 6 and 7 seed per foot for each one of those varieties.

In years past, he has conducted some similar research and noticed that the twin row row pattern will support a slightly higher seeding rate than the single row row pattern for maximizing yield potential. Results have shown that farmers can sometimes actually reduce their seeding rate a little bit lower in single row without losing yield potential. However, farmers may run into potentially some tomato spotted wilt virus interactions by reducing seeding rate at certain times of the year with certain varieties that are more susceptible to that virus.

View the 2019 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

 

Growing Peanuts for the Organic Market

Tour attendees visited the farm of Sedrick Rowe in Americus, Georgia, to learn more about organic peanut production. Rowe is a first-generation farmer who started growing organic peanuts two years ago. He is currently growing 12 acres of organic peanuts in Americus and 12 acres of organic peanuts in Dougherty County, Georgia. He grows corn for his rotation crop and grows rye and wheat for a cover crop. Rowe planted the peanut variety Georgia-12Y this year. He currently markets his peanuts through a combined effort with other organic growers through the Georgia Organic Peanut Association. Some of the organic peanuts are sold to Georgia Grinders Peanut Butter.

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Sedrick Rowe, organic peanut farmer in Americus, Georgia.

Rowe says the main issues he has faced with growing organic peanuts is weed control with the limited amount of chemicals he can use. Attendees on the tour were able to view Rowe’s field and see some of the morningglory weed that Rowe had issues with this year. Rowe uses a Kubota M7060 tractor, a rolling cultivator to loosen the soil and help control weeds and weed wiper. He also hand pulls some of the weeds in the field. He also uses a two-row peanut digger at harvest. This year he is purchasing a peanut combine from Ag Pro in Blakely to harvest his peanuts.

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Organic peanut field.

Founded in 2019, the Georgia Organic Peanut Association (GOPA) is a farmer-owned cooperative incorporated in the state of Georgia to market USDA Certified Organic peanuts and other agricultural products. The cooperative’s small farmers come from across the state and have almost 50 years of combined experience growing organic crops. The organization is committed to bringing added value to established farming operations and to creating new opportunities for small and beginning producers in the region.

Organic peanuts in Georgia are sold through a combined partnership to Georgia Grinders.

Organic peanuts in Georgia are sold through a combined partnership to Georgia Grinders.

In 2018, with financial support from the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement and the Bradley-Turner Foundation, Georgia Organics led a one-year project to develop a supply chain and marketplace around Certified Organic peanuts that could support small farmers.

The following video from Anthony-Masterson is an overview of that collaboration. Click here to view the video.

View the 2019 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

2019 Georgia Peanut Crop Update

The Georgia Peanut Tour kicked off with a Hot Topics Seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Lake Blackshear Golf Resort in Cordele. During the seminar Scott, Monfort, University of Georgia Extension Peanut Agronomist. According to Monfort the 2019 peanut crop pretty much the same as most years but the weather is not what you would consider a normal
year. Georgia growers planted approximately 650,000 acres of peanuts in 2019. At the beginning of the season, farmers started out in a good situation where they had plenty of moisture and heat to get the peanuts planted earlier than the last couple of
years. Then the weather changed and farmers ran out of moisture real quick and the weather turned hot. The temperatures soared to 90+ degrees and the middle to latter part of May all the way through today. We’ve had a tremendous amount of 90 degree temperatures all the way through the growing season this year with a limited amount of moisture. We did get moisture but it was pretty limited for the most part.

So when you start to look at the crop this year, there’s several things participants will notice on the tour. The irrigated peanuts which are about 50% of our peanuts look above average, because again they had the heat to push the crop but they also had the moisture. You can put on the moisture at any given moment during that period. Where we have problems that we are worried about right now is the non-irrigated crop and in any given year, we talk about how Mother Nature can throw a curve ball at us, in pockets or regions of Georgia but this year its all over. There have been some areas that received moisture at the right times and so there are some non irrigated crops that look just as good as irrigated crops. But, when you look at the average of non irrigated crop, it’s going to be below what we typically like to see yield and quality wise.

Georgia farmers have had problems with tomato spotted wilt virus, as well as, lesser corn salt borers and diseases. We are dealing with that and that’s going to cause some problems but overall the hot dry conditions is the major issue that we are dealing with.

Farmers are in the harvest season right now, it is the second week of September. We have been digging and harvesting peanuts for approximately a week a half now. Some of those are because we planted earlier, and we were able to mature those out and needed to come out of the ground to be harvested. A lot of those especially the irrigated crop looks pretty good. They are yielding very well as well as grading well – the quality is good at this time. As far as the non irrigated crop, farmers were able to save some of that crop by digging early because it did not put on any more peanuts beyond a certain period. So, they are digging those peanuts as well.

View the 2019 Georgia Peanut Photo Album.

Hot Topics Seminar

The Hot Topics Seminar provided tour attendees with an overview of peanut production. Attendees learned from specialists with the University of Georgia Peanut Team regarding topics on land preparation, seed selection, planting, soil nutrition and fertilizer applications, plant growth physiology, insect management, disease management, maturity and harvest decisions.

Download the Hot Topics Seminar presentations below:

Seed Selection, Land Preparation and Planting – Dr. Scott Tubbs
Soil Nutrition and Fertilizer Applications – Dr. Glen Harris
Plant Growth Physiology – Dr. Cristiane Pilon
Insect Populations and Management – Dr. Mark Abney
Disease Incidence and Management – Dr. Bob Kemerait
Maturity and Harvest Decisions – Dr. Scott Monfort

View the 2019 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

Welcome to the 33rd annual Georgia Peanut Tour

2019gpt_logo_flatWe would like to welcome each of you to the 2019 Georgia Peanut Tour. Whether this is your first time with us or you are a “Peanut Tour Veteran,” we are very happy to host you on our 33rd annual tour. 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 better insight not only into the challenges our farmers face, but also reasons why we say that the world’s best peanuts are produced in Georgia. It is our hope that you will come to better understand and appreciate the heritage of peanut production in our state. Those engaged in the peanut industry, including farmers, buyers, processors, researchers, Extension personnel, and Georgia Peanut Commission representatives, are proud that Georgia is the leading peanut producing state in the United States and we are excited to share this year’s crop with you.

The 2019 Georgia Peanut Tour is staged in the central region of our state’s production area and begins on the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 17, with a “Hot Topics” symposium. Expert speakers will address the current status of our peanut crop and provide a special focus on peanut production practices. UGA researchers will discuss topics including planting, soil nutrition, physiology, insects, diseases, maturity and harvest decision.

The next two days of the tour provide you an opportunity to learn more about production, research, processing and more. Field visits will provide you with a glimpse of conventional and organic peanut production, harvest and precision agriculture at the farm of Sed Rowe in Americus, Chase Farms in Oglethorpe and Dawson Brothers Farm in Hawkinsville, Georgia. University of Georgia and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers will provide you with updates on groundbreaking research projects they have at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center in Plains, as well as the USDA National Peanut Research Lab in Dawson, Georgia. The tour also includes visits down the supply chain to Sasser 520 Peanut Buying Point where attendees will have an opportunity to learn how peanuts are graded, cleaned, dried, and stored in warehouses. Attendees will also tour Agri AFC in Cordele, Golden Peanut and Tree Nut sheller and Nolin Steel in Ashburn and Hardy Farms Peanut Boiling Facility in Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Again, on behalf of the Peanut Tour Committee, with members from the USDA-ARS Peanut Lab, the Georgia Peanut Commission and the University of Georgia, I warmly welcome you to the 33rd annual Georgia Peanut Tour! We hope that over the next few days you will better appreciate the complexity of the peanut industry in Georgia and the personal commitments from all involved in producing the world’s finest peanuts! We hope our events will allow for fellowship and that you enjoy Georgia’s hospitality exploring a beautiful, rural part of our state. We offer our sincere thanks to all the sponsors, who through their generosity, help make this tour possible. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can help you as we travel the highways and byways of our state’s production area. We are proud of our peanut farmers and our peanut industry; we are happy that we can share them with you.

2019 Georgia Peanut Tour set for Cordele area

2019gpt_logo_flatThe thirty-third annual Georgia Peanut Tour will be held September 17-19, 2019, in Cordele, 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 surrounding Cordele.

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, as well as, research at the University of Georgia Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center.

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.

Registration will be opening soon. For sponsorship infomation, contact Hannah Jones at hannah@gapeanuts.com or call at 229-386-3470.

* Update – the host hotel, Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club is currently full. An overflow of rooms are available at Comfort Inn in Cordele, Ga. Rooms can be booked by calling 229-273-7117 and asking for the Georgia Peanut Tour rate. Buses will depart from the Comfort Inn each morning of the tour and return following the evening meal.

Download Sponsorship Info
Download Registration Form
Download Tour Schedule
View list of registered attendees
Download driving directions for Wednesday, Sept. 18
Download driving directions for Thursday, Sept. 19

Low Country Near the Low Country

IMG_2946 (002)The 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour concluded with dinner hosted at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah. The botanical gardens are part of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and offer year-round education classes and workshops for all ages and abilities, as well as special events and opportunities for visitors to connect with nature and be inspired through beautiful gardens and collections. The garden is a popular Savannah attraction featuring a museum of plants, a tranquil escape, a living classroom and a historic venue for special events. The botanical gardens host more than 100,000 visitors each year.

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Corteva Agriscience representatives

 

This year’s closing dinner featured the famous low country boil and peanut-inspired ice cream sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. Corteva, formerly Dow AgroSciences, has sponsored the low country boil for many years, making it a tradition most all tour attendees look forward to. The boil includes shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn.

 

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This year, the tour featured nearly 200 attendees representing 19 states, as well as international guests from four different countries (Malawi, Zambia, Bangladesh and India). Participants ranged from industry personnel, to government agencies, to manufacturers. All had the opportunity to learn more about Georgia peanuts and production. Thank you to all who have made the tour possible, attended or followed along via the blog. We look forward to seeing you in 2019!

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GPT Chairman Dr. Bob Kemerait accepts a gift from tour attendees visiting from Malawi.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Growing the Organic Peanut Market

2018_gpt_savannah_0407sAttendees on the Georgia Peanut Tour learned about challenges organic farmers face with producing peanuts at the farm of Al Clark. He started farming in 1979 and began transitioning to organic production in 2007. Today Clark grows approximately 276 acres of organic peanuts, corn and soybeans at Healthy Hollow Farms in Brooklet, Georgia.

In 2018, Clark planted 20 acres of peanuts in two varieties — including Georgia 06-G and the less popular Georgia 12Y, which has proved promising in an organic system due to a viney growth habit that enables it potentially to outcompete weeds and general disease tolerance. Clark sourced untreated seeds and used a garlic-based inoculant (a mixture of neem and BacPac) at planting time, noticing better germination and foliage development among 06-G plants where the rate of this inoculant was doubled. This early growth, commonly referred to as “plant stand,” is key for organic peanut plants to overcome weed and pest pressure.

Despite a good stand, Clark has continued to struggle with weeds this season. While it has been shown that organic peanuts can be grown successfully in Georgia, the single biggest challenge is weeds, which in the Deep South can be diverse and aggressive. Organic growers do not have effective herbicides in their toolbox, which means they must rely on timely mechanical cultivation to kill weeds before they can get a foothold. But with constant rains throughout 2018, Clark could not get into his fields he needed to cultivate.

2018_gpt_savannah_0426sHowever, in recent years, Clark has employed an electrifying new technique: a lightning weeder. A long journey to North Dakota resulted in this purchase, which uses electricity run across a conductive bar running horizontal to the ground, above the sprawling peanuts, to electrocute tall weeds in the field. Although not effective on grasses, for weeds such as the prolific pigweed with a center stalk and deep taproot, the lightning weeder has a chance to shine (or, to be more literal, flame).

The lightning weeder does not come without limitations: scarcity, cost, and the huge amounts of power it uses. And even with successful weed control, there are still obstacles in producing organic peanuts. There is a lack of high quality, untreated seed for growers, and a lack of marketing power for organic Georgia Grown peanuts due to the smaller acreage and lack of infrastructure. In a Certified Organic system, each step from harvest to handling to processing has to be certified through the National Organic Program. With the scale of peanut production and associated infrastructure in Georgia so large, and the acreage of organic production so small in comparison, there can be little economic benefit to going through the certification process for shellers in Georgia. And without organic shellers to maintain the certification of the peanuts, there is a lack of supply for the marketplace.

And this is where Georgia Organics plays a role. Through a combination of USDA and private grants, and a partnership with the Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network, Georgia Organics has been working with farmers actively growing or interested in growing organic peanuts to share production best practices, develop marketplace connections, address issues of seed supply, and facilitate the growth of organic peanuts in the peanut capital of the world to meet the high demand for Georgia-Grown Certified Organic Peanut products.

To learn more about Georgia Organics, organic peanuts in Georgia, and upcoming opportunities and events, contact Perri at perri@georgiaorganics.org.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

Peanut Farming: A Family Tradition

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Left to Right: Emanuel County Farmers Clay and Carl Hood; Mark Crosby, Emanuel County Extension Agent; Chris Hood, Emanuel County Farmer; John Harrison, Young Farmer Advisor

Purchased by Carl Hood and his wife in 1970 Canoochee Farms in Emanuel County has grown throughout the years. Clay Hood, one of five kids born into the Hood family now farms Canooche Farm alongside his dad and has done so for 25 years now. The Hood’s have 900 acres in cultivation as well a small beef cattle operation. Out of those 900 acres 300 of those are in peanuts and the rest are planted in cotton. According to Mark Crosby, Emanuel County Extension agent, Emanuel County is primarily a cotton-cotton-peanut rotation. The field peanut tour attendees were able to see on Canoochee Farms was a total of 226 acres. 175 of the 226 acres were irrigated and the rest were dryland.

The peanuts in this field had a plant date of May 3, 2018 and are at a 136-day maturity; weather permitting, the Hood’s will begin picking next Tuesday, September, 25. Carl and Clay plant the Georgia 09B variety peanuts which are a high oleic peanut, which means they have a higher oil content which is popular many candy manufactures. Another advantage the Hood’s see to planting this variety is they have a high resistance to Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. On their farm they also plant a cover crop of rye, which helps retain the moisture in the soil. Tour attendees also had the opportunity to take look at their harvesting equipment. The Hood’s harvest with an AMADAS self-propelled picker as well as a 6-roll pull type hoodspic1picker.

 

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

 

Proper Peanut Rotations Can Have Positive Impact on Yields

As a research agronomist for the University of Georgia, Dr. Scott Tubbs conducts research in a lot of different areas and during the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Dr. Tubbs had an opportunity to present his research to the tour attendees. Some of that relates to cropping systems with rotations of peanuts and other crops. Farmers may have more success growing peanuts if they don’t continuously plant peanuts in the same field, and that is the message Dr. Tubbs is wanting to convey. Other crops that rotate very well with peanuts include corn and cotton and there’s about a million plus acres of cotton any given year, anywhere between 250,000 300,000 acres of corn any given year and this is about twice as much acreage as what we have in peanuts. “With a rotation on peanuts we usually recommend three years rotation, two years out of peanuts before we go back into peanuts the third year. The acreage of these rotation crops allows this except when we increase acreage of peanuts and decrease acreage of these other crops. It does put our rotation under pressure for shorter rotations which can cause additional disease and pest problems with weeds and insects as well”, says Dr. Tubbs. Peanuts do rotate well with other crops since it is a legume. Peanuts have a lot of nitrogen they can supply to other crops that are usually fertilized with nitrogen so peanuts are a good scavenger of nutrients by pulling those nutrients from deep in the soil profile by bringing those back to the surface.

“Once the peanut is harvested the remaining residue of peanut is left on the ground and will disintegrate and provide nutrients to the subsequent crops that are planted behind peanuts,” he continues. “Some of the research I am conducting this year include replant decisions for peanut and populations including gap situations where we force a stand gap where there are no plants growing just to assess the yield drag from having no populations in the field. We also conduct research on inoculants, different formulations and their interactions with other in furrow products that are placed in ground at planting. This year we initiated some trials on physical damage to peanuts to simulate hail damage or deer damage to peanuts and we are assessing different levels of damage by different timings of the crop just to assess how yield and grade will be affected at the end of season with these different damage levels with different timing.”

For more information on crop rotation, visit the UGA Extension publications by clicking here.

View the 2018 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album