Jefferson & Jenkins County crop update

Wade Parker, Jenkins County Extension agent

Wade Parker, Jenkins County Extension agent

Even though the Georgia Peanut Tour did not travel through Jenkins or Jefferson County this year, an update was provided by local county extension agents. Both agents demonstrated how farmers determine maturity through the peanut profile board. Wade Parker, Jenkins County Extension agent, showed attendees how farmers pod-blast their peanuts before placing the sample of the maturity profile board. He says, knowing when to dig peanuts can mean the difference between loosing and gaining 200 lbs. per acre. The pod-blasting process is a good method in mitigating peanut losses.

Parker, updated tour attendees on agricultural production in Jenkins County. Parker stated the major crops grown in Jenkins County are cotton, soybeans, corn and of course peanuts, where they planted roughly 5,550 acres this year. “The most troublesome issue for farmers this season would have to be the dry weather the latter part of July and first of August,” Parker says. “Spider mites are a major problem in peanuts. Most farmers are hoping for a timely harvest operation in order to avoid a costly treatment” he adds. Thirty-five percent of the counties peanuts were irrigated compared to 65 percent that were dryland.

Pam Sapp, Jefferson County Extension agent

Pam Sapp, Jefferson County Extension agent

Pam Sapp, Jefferson County Extension agent, also provided an update on Jefferson County. The county has a total of 6,500 acres of peanuts planted this season with an estimated production of 3,600 lbs. Jefferson County mainly plants cotton, corn, soybeans and peanuts. Peanuts in this county are 40 percent irrigated and 60 percent dryland. According to Sapp, the most troublesome issues farmers have faced in this area have been lack of rainfall and a late season.

View the 2014 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album.

Determining peanut maturity

Following the visit to Joe Boddiford’s farm in Screven County, Georgia, tour attendees headed to the University of Georgia Southeast Research and Education Center in Burke County, Georgia. At the research centers many of the members of the UGA Peanut Team provided information on research they conduct at the center involving pest management to disease control. Also, attendees learned more about how farmers tell when their peanuts are ready for harvest from local county Extension agents.

Cotton, corn and peanuts are the major crops produced in Burke County with a peanut crop production estimated to reach roughly 38,250-39,000 tons. Burke County planted between 16,000 and 18,000 acres of peanuts this growing season.  “Thrips, spider mites, foliage feeding pest, nematodes, white mold and lack of rain were some troubles farmers faced this season,” says Peyton Sapp,  Burke County extension coordinator.

Sapp also presented a peanut maturity demonstration to tour attendees.

View the 2014 Georgia Peanut Photo Album.

What’s Peanut Tour without a Low-Country Boil?

After two full days of peanut education , peanut tour attendees were treated to a tasteful low- country boil and friendly fellowship at Quail Branch Lodge  in Lake Park , Ga. sponsored by Dow AgroSciences,

Marvin Stewart, regional sales rep. with Dow AgroSciences,  h2013_peanuttour_qbl_39sas attended all 27 peanut tours and has cooked for every year. Supper was finished up with  three different kinds of ice cream samples including Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate with Peanut Butter swirls and Snickers ice cream.

Chris Butts, peanut tour committee chairman, recognized Emory Murphy, with the Georgia Peanut Commission and Dr. John Beasley, with the University of Georgia for attending all 27 tours. Murphy and Beasley will both be retiring at the end of this year.  We would like to thank each of them for their hard work and dedication to the Georgia Peanut Tour. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

 2013 Peanut Tour Photo Album2013_peanuttour_qbl_30s

Peanuts, get your peanuts!

After leaving R.L Cunningham’s, tour attendees loaded up and traveled south to Birdsong Peanuts in Lee, Fla.  This Birdsong location is a direct buying point for the farmers. Attendees had the opportunity to view Birdsong’s grading room, moisture room and storage room at the site. This facility is able to dry 52 loads of peanuts at one time with dryers reaching 95 degrees.2013_peanuttour_birdsong_09s

Gerald Garland, manager of the Southeast Birdsong location, said they have only graded three days so far this season. Twenty loads are needed before the grading process can begin. Due to the 40 inches of rain Madison County received in June, peanut farmers are a little behind and peanut grading is expected to begin full-force in roughly two weeks. This Birdsong location is also the only location that owns a farm, as well as a buying point. The Birdsong farm in Lee, Fla., produced 1,500 acres of peanuts last year.

Carl Hobbs, a crop consultant, was also at this stop. Here he talked about his contracts with farmers in Florida, Georgia and the lower half of Alabama and South Carolina. With these states, he does periodic checks of soil sample work and looks for new methods to improve the health of peanut plants. Along with Hobbs, Heath Herndon talked about visiting fields to look at moisture and disease levels to decide how to treat plants for diseases.2013_peanuttour_birdsong_05s

Dan Fenneman, Madison County extension agent, updated tour attendees on peanut acreage in Madison County. There are roughly 7,600 acres of peanuts planted in Madison County. Peanuts are among one of the main crops planted in this county along with corn and soybeans. Peanuts in this area are mostly irrigated as opposed to dry land. Rain has been a major issue with peanut production this year, as well as a fairly cool season, which has led to an early harvest. Farmers are now beginning to face a dry spell. Between 3,200 and 3,400 tons per acre is expected to be yielded this upcoming season.

2013 Peanut Tour Photo Album

Good southern cooking at Carter’s Catfish House

Peanut Tour attendees wrapped up the first day of the tour tonight with some of the South’s finest traditions as they licked their fingers and sipped on sweet tea from Carter’s Catfish House in Adel, Ga. Carter’s Catfish House is locally-owned by Matt Carter who is known for his restaurant’s hospitality.

2013_peanuttour_cchouse_01sAlbert Culbreath, with the University of Georgia, treated us all to some good ol’ pickin’ & grinnin’ before we sat down for supper. Attendees gathered around Culbreath to listen to him play the banjo on the front porch of the Catfish House as they casually drank and socialized.

Attendee’s were treated to fried chicken, fried catfish, home-style mashed potatoes, green beans… and of course grits. Wait, what’s a full supper without dessert? 2013_peanuttour_cchouse_13sSupper was followed-up with some desserts that will make you go “nuts!” Mouthwatering peanut butter pie and nutter butter banana pudding was the talk of the night. After winding down from well-spent evening with good food, attendees will be gearing up for day 2 of the tour tomorrow morning at stop No. 1: DuPont.

2013 Peanut Tour Photo Album

Seeds, fertilizers and grades: A tour of the GA Dept. of Ag Lab & FSIS

Peanut season is the busiest time of year for everyone at Georgia Federal- State Inspection Services. Farmers are in demand to have their peanuts graded in time for market.  Georgia FSIS inspects over 35 comedies, peanuts being the largest. Peanut Tour attendees had the opportunity to see how the Farmers’ Stock grading procedures work, view grading equipment and the grading process. Teresa Cox, supervisor of District 12, talked about the grade room procedures and the process for grading inspection for peanut seeds.  She began by saying once they they obtain their peanut samples, peanuts are first  poured onto a grader, which requires a minimum of 1,500 grams of peanuts. 2013_peanuttour_doa_23sThe peanuts then go into a foreign material machine which separates foreign material and LSK (lose shelled kernels). From this point, peanuts are taken from the scales to a pre-sizer, to a sheller and then to a moisture machine. Once the moisture machine has 250 grams, peanuts are then transported to a shaker to get rid of splits or immature kernels.  They are then poured into a pan and hand-picked for anything that may have been missed before going through the splitter where they check for concealed damage and Aspergillus flavus mold.

Also at this stop, tour attendees got the chance to visit the Georgia Department of Agricultural Lab in Tifton, where they focused on the seed, fertilizer and feed section. This section administers the rules and regulations related to seeds, fertilizer and feeds by regulating labeling and quality standards for items for sale in Georgia. Mark McMillan, a representative with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, specifically focused on the feed and fertilizer of the tour where he talked about sulfur tests and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), which are tests that determine which elements are in the fertilizers and which are absent. Scott Hobby, representative with the Georgia Department of Agriculture,  talked more about the seed portion of the lab. The Georgia Department of Agriculture seed lab tests over 20,000 seeds annually, with 12,000 of them being peanut samples. Farmers have the ability to send seeds to the Department of Agriculture lab and have their seeds tested free of charge.  Dee-Dee Smith, a seed analyst, then went over the daily routines of a a seed analyst who separates seed to make labes to go on seed bags before administered to the public. Seeds are separated into kind and variety before sold.

Dr. John Beasley with the University of Georgbia also treated tourist to HOT boiled peanuts donated by Albert Culbreath while they listened to him discuss the differences in the four main variates of peanuts and how to determine  maturity in peanuts using a Peanut Profile Board.  2013_peanuttour_doa_14sThe board is colored coded from lighter colors to darker so researchers and extension agents can separate them via color on the chart to determine the number of days until maturity. Dr. Beasley also discussed the hull-scrape method and other ways to determine the maturity of peanuts and when they are ready to harvest.

2013 Peanut Tour Photo Album