Video of Peanut Digging at the Chase Farm

[flickr video=2879274931 show_info=true w=260 h=195]


Originally uploaded by Georgia Peanut Commission

Glenn Lee Chase, farmer from Macon County, Ga., showcases how to dig peanuts to the Georgia Peant Tour. Chase is using GPS autosteer and also has a mower attached to the front of the tractor that cuts the top of the peanut plants prior to digging. The Chase farm has applied this technique to help the peanut vines stand up better in the field after digging.

Visit to Chase Farms

Laura, Greg, Donald, Ellen and Glenn Lee Chase

Georgia Peanut Tour attendees were able to see harvest first-hand at the Chase family farm in Macon County, Georgia. Glenn Lee Chase started digging peanuts where everyone on the tour could see how peanuts are harvested. The Chase family uses GPS to help guide the  digger through the field and minimize loss at digging. The family operation also consists of sweet corn, field corn, and broiler houses. Donald represents farmers in his area as a board member of the Georgia Peanut Commission. The farm is a family operation of Glenn Lee & Ellen Chase and their son Donald, his wife, Michelle, and their three kids, Marilee, Laura and Greg.

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Sumter & Macon County Agriculture Update

Sumter County – Bill Starr, Sumter County Extension Coordinator, provided an update on the peanut crop in Sumter County to the Georgia Peanut Tour group. Sumter County farmers planted approximately 10,000 acres of peanuts this year. The average yield is around 3,600 pounds per acre. Other crops grown in Sumter County include cotton, corn and vegetables. Farmers in the area experienced problems early in the growing season with weeds and later on with white mold. According to Starr the peanut crop looks very good this year with some fields looking excellent in Sumter County.

Macon County – Jeremy Kichler, Macon County Extension Coordinator, provided an update on Macon to the Georgia Peanut Tour group. This year Macon County farmers planted 5,956 acres of peanuts and Kichler estimates production at 1.5 tons per acre for dryland peanuts and 2 tons per acre for irrigated peanuts. Sixty percent of the acreage in Macon County is irrigated with 40 percent dryland. In addition to peanuts, Macon County farmers also grow corn, corn silage, cotton, peaches and vegetables. There are also 36 dairies in the county. Macon County farmers have had a difficult year with Glyphosate-Resistant and ALS-Resistant Palmer Amaranth (pigweed). Overall the peanut crop is looking good though.

Planting Date Study

In addition to the amount of seed planted per foot of row the date of planting can be just as important. According to John Beasley, University of Georgia peanut agronomist, many farmers started planting peanuts later in the spring due to tomato spotted wilt virus in peanuts. Also, research results have shown that the optimum time for planting peanuts is around the first couple of weeks in May in order to reduce the risk of disease and tomato spotted wilt virus. In fact today approximately 95 percent of the peanut crop is planted in the month of May. The later planting date helps when fighting disease pressure but is a logistical problem at harvest in the fall for farmers that grow peanuts and cotton. In fact, Beasley says the quality of cotton in Georgia has suffered some. Farmers have to make a decision at harvest when both crops are ready and in some cases the farmers choose to harvest their peanuts first since it is more perishable commodity. Today, there are many new cultivars that were not available for farmers a few years ago so researchers are revisiting the planting date to see if some of the new cultivars could be planted in April without increasing the risk of disease pressure. In this research study, peanuts were planted on April 21 and May 20 at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center. Research is also ongoing at the University of Georgia research stations in Attapulgus and Midville. Hopefully, this research will find a way to help farmers with logistics at harvest.

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Listen to Radio Broadcast from Southeast Ag Net

Research on Seeding Rates at Planting

Scott Tubbs, University of Georgia cropping systems agronomist, discussed the first year of a research study looking at increasing or decreasing seed per foot when planting and the effect this how on the risk of disease. There were 42 treatments per repetition using various seeding rates on single and twin rows. Tubbs planted the following varieties in the test: Florida 07, Tifguard, AP3, Georgia-03L, AT3085RO, Georgia-06G and Georgia Green. The varieties were planted at the recommended rate of 6 seed per foot on single or 3 seed per foot on twin rows. The 6 seed per foot equals 4 plants per stand. Then in the research trial the varieties were also planted by increasing the seed per foot by one seed to 7 and decreasing the seed per foot by one seed to 5. Results have shown that when the seed per foot has been reduced then there has been an increase in tomato spotted wilt virus. Also, when the seed per foot has been increased then there has been an increase in white mold. There are also similar studies like this at the University of Georgia research stations in Attapulgus and Midville. The tests in Attapulgus is looking at even higher rates of seed per foot while the Midville test is looking at lower rates of seed per foot. In one variety, Georgia Green, growers use 87,522 seed per acre when planting 6 seed per foot, 73,000 per acre when planting 5 seed per foot and 102,000 seed per acre when planting 7 seed per foot. If a farmer is able to decrease the seeding rate at planting then they could potentially save $16.00 to $20.00. The research should be able to shed some new light on the seeding rate when planting and how farmers could potentially save money. However, at the present time farmers are using the Peanut RX program, which is a disease risk index and the recommendation is to plant 6 seed per foot at planting for single rows which would equal a final plant stand of four plants.

UGA Peanut Update & Peanut RX

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Georgia Peanut Breeding Program

Bill Branch, University of Georgia peanut breeder, discussed the Georgia Peanut Breeding Program to tour attendess while at the Southwest Georgia Research & Education Center in Plains, Ga. The Georgia Peanut Breeding Program is actively involved in the development of improved varieties with desirable traits for increasing dollar value, yield, grade, drought tolerance, better shelling characteristics, longer shelf-life, enhanced flavor, nutritional qualities as well as disease, insect, virus, nematode and aflatoxin resistance. Peanut breeding is a long-term commitment which normally takes 10 years to develop a new variety. Thus, peanut varieties for this new millennium are currently being considered. The most recent varietal releases from the Georgia Peanut Breeding Program have been Georgia Green, Georgia-01R, Georgia-02C, Georgia-03L, Georgia-06G, Georgia Greener, Georgia-07W, Georgia Hi-O/L, Georgia-05E, Georgia-04S, Georgia Browne, Georgia Valencia and Georgia Red. To learn more about each of these varieties, click here to read an article by Dr. Branch that includes a description of each variety.

Georgia Seed Development Commission

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Peanut Diseases – CBR & Spraying at Night

During the stop at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center, University of Georgia plant pathologist Tim Brenneman provided an update on soilborne diseases and a new method to use – spraying at night. One soilborne disease, Cylindrocladium black rot (CBR), got its start in Southwest Georgia in peanuts in 1965. CBR is one of those diseases that can be out in the soil all season long but farmers may not see the appearance of this disease until late in the season. Brenneman is researching at the center different approaches to deal with CBR. One of those is through genetic resistance. He is evaluating different peanut varieties for their resistance to CBR. One variety GA-02C has shown resistance to CBR and that is also another reason the variety was planted in the study by Jason Jackson on strip-till beds mentioned in an earlier post. Also, Brenneman is looking at the use of fungicides and new patterns or ways to improve the application process. With CBR it is necessary to wash the fungicide in with irrigation to move the fungicide down to the crown of the plant. Also, he is testing the use of in-furrow fungicide applications at planting. Another research project at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus looks at spraying peanuts at night to control disease such as white mold. At night the peanut leaves fold up and when sprayed the fungicide is able to get down to the soil line. He has also found that the fungicide residue lasts longer in the shade than in the open sun. With sprays at night the residue remains on the plant so in the morning when leaves open (like an umbrella) the canopy provides shade for the spray residue. Spraying at night has been very effective so far but this only marks the second full year of research so the University of Georgia Peanut Team is not recommending this as an official practice for farmers yet. There are also several grower trials throughout the state of Georgia looking at spraying at night to control white mold.

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Listen to the Radio Broadcast from Southeast Ag Net

Using a Strip-till Bed for Peanuts

Jason Jackson, a University of Georgia student pursuing his master’s degree in agronomy, presented information on his research project during the stop at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center. Jackson grew up on a farm in Cuthbert, Ga., and knows first hand the digging losses that occur with strip-till peanuts in that area. This is unlike other areas of the state that have sandy soils. In fact research has shown an increase in yield by using strip-till versus conventional. However, the increase in projected yield does not help farmers in red clay soil areas that have suffered digging losses when using strip-till. Strip-till helps to conserve moisture and prevent erosion so Jackson came up with a new method utilizing strip-till that he hopes will also reduce digging losses for farmers in his area. In the research project, Jackson planted the variety Georgia 02C on a flat bed, raised bed (7″ high) and standard ripping bed (12 or 14″ high). The beds were made in the fall and a cover crop planted on the bed. In a 2007 test in Tifton, Ga., Jackson did not see any difference in results on digging loss or yield when comparing the flat and raised strip-till beds. However, there were differences in Plains, Ga. amounting to $150 per acre advantage. The 2007 research showed 1,200 pounds per acre digging loss on a flat bed and 600 pounds per acre digging loss on a ripping bed when using strip-till. The 600 pound difference in yield loss equals to a $150 per acre advantage when farmers use strip-till on a raised bed. The cost to prepare a bed is about $30 per acre. These results are from the first year of this study and the 2008 data should be available soon. Keep in mind that this research project has not been completed for three years so researchers on the University of Georgia Peanut Team are not recommending this as a practice yet for farmers.

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

The Peanut Biodiesel Project

Wilson Faircloth, researcher with the USDA National Peanut Research Lab in Dawson, Ga., discussed the Peanut Biodiesel Project with the Georgia Peanut Tour attendees. Faircloth showcased the research he and other researchers are working on with production systems at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center. Faircloth has been working the last three years to develop production systems and look at peanut varieties that would be suitable for biodiesel. With this project he has had to throw out the old way of growing peanuts and look at completely new methods. One example is reviewing some peanut varieties that did not work in the industry because of shelling characteristics or taste. Those peanut varieties may not have worked for consumption but they could possibly work for biodiesel. Through this project Faircloth has been able to produce biodiesel for $2.65.

The biofuel rotation study at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center involves peanuts, soybean and sunflowers during the summer. The rotation during the winter consists of canola and oilseed radish. This is the first year of this rotation study but Faircloth predicts the yield for biodiesel at 100 gallons per acre from peanuts, 65 gallons per acre from soybeans, 50 to 60 gallons per acre from sunflowers and 75 gallons per acre from canola. In the rotation, Faircloth is also growing Sorghum-Sudan Grass for ethanol. Approximately 10,000 pounds of dry matter of the grass would producer 400 gallons of ethanol. By using the biofuel rotation this would provide a farmer with a flow of material throughout the year. Of course Faircloth does not want farmers to stop growing peanuts for consumption. Instead he recommends that farmers set aside a small acreage for their biodiesel. Farmers would also have to throw out the old way of thinking when it comes to controlling disease or weeds in the field. The peanuts grown for biofuel can be grown with fewer inputs than peanuts grown for consumption. Peanuts have the highest oil potential in the Southeastern U.S. so with this biofuel rotation study farmers may find just what they need to supply fuel for their farm.

National Peanut Research Lab Peanut Biodiesel Project

2008 Georgia Peanut Tour Photo Album

Rodney Dawson video on the Peanut Intensive Management Program

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Originally uploaded by Georgia Peanut Commission

Rodney Dawson, Pulaski County peanut farmer and Georgia Peanut Commission board member, discusses his farm operation to the Georgia Peanut Tour attendees on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008. Dawson farms with his brothers, Gary & John Dawson, Jr. They utilize the Peanut Intensive Management Program and through the scouting services of Emily Evans they are seeing a savings in their irrigation and fungicide applications. There is more information on Dawson Brothers Farm and the Intensive Management Program in earlier posts on this blog.