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A communication service of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.


July/August 2021

In This Issue 6 / Peanuts in the Big Easy Twenty peanut farmers and sheller representatives from across the peanut belt graduated from Class XI of the Peanut Leadership Academy.

10 / Peanut Field Days Field days throughout the summer months provide growers with educational information to assist them with production on their farm.

Chris Butts, agricultural engineer at the National Peanut Research Lab, recently received the American Peanut Council’s Peanut Research and Education Award.


Photo by Becky Mills.

16 / Butts receives Peanut Research and Education Award


8 / Checkoff Report Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

2021 Peanut Harvest Guidebook

18 / Washington Outlook

Cover Photo

22 / Southern Peanut Growers Update

Joy Carter Crosby Editor 229-386-3690 Director of Advertising Jessie Bland Contributing Writers Abby Himburg Richardson Becky Mills Southeastern Peanut Farmer P.O. Box 706, Tifton, Ga. 31793 445 Fulwood Blvd., Tifton, Ga. 31794 ISSN: 0038-3694

The 2021 Harvest Guidebook features information on making the grade at harvest, a profile on Buni Durr with Locke Farm Center and a harvest equipment checklist. Peanut harvest at Glenn Heard Farms in Decatur County, Georgia. Photo by Joy Crosby.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer is published six times a year (Jan./Feb., March, April, May/June, July/Aug., and Oct./Nov.) by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. The publisher is not responsible for copy omission, typographical errors, or any unintentional errors that may occur, other than to correct it in the following issue. Any erroneous reflection which may occur in the columns of Southeastern Peanut Farmer will be corrected upon brought to the attention of the editor. (Phone 229-386-3690.) Postmaster: Send address changes (Form 3579) to Southeastern Peanut Farmer, P.O. Box 706, Tifton, Georgia, 31793. Circulation is free to qualified peanut growers and others allied to the industry. Periodical postage paid at Tifton, Georgia and additional mailing office. Editorial Content: Editorial copy from sources outside of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation is sometimes presented for the information and interest of our members. Such material may, or may not, coincide with official Southern Peanut Farmers Federation policies. Publication of material does not necessarily imply its endorsement by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. For editorial concerns call 229-386-3690. No portion of this or past issues of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written consent of the editor. By-lined articles appearing in this publication represent views of the authors and not necessarily those of the publisher. Advertising: The Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertisement. Corrections to advertisements must be made after the first run. All billing offers subject to credit review. Advertisements contained in this publication do not represent an endorsement by the Southeastern Peanut Farmer or the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. Use of trade names in this publication is for the purpose of providing specific information and is not a guarantee nor warranty of products named. For advertising concerns call 229-386-3472.

July/August 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer



Calendar of Events

A Heart of Gold


hroughout life you meet people who have a heart of gold. They are always looking to help others and simply put – be nice to everyone. One individual has really shown his heart of gold recently by his efforts to help a little girl named Ula from Manila, Philippines. The individual is no stranger to the peanut industry since he also gives his heart of gold by helping many farmers across Georgia fight diseases in their peanuts and other crops. He is none other than Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist. To understand the situation, let me start at the beginning. I would like to introduce you to Ula, a 10-year-old girl, who is fighting leukemia. I first heard about her through Bob Kemerait’s Facebook page. Near the middle of May, he started posting information about Ula and her medical condition. Ula’s mother took her to the hospital but didn’t really understand what was happening to Ula and they wanted a second opinion from Kemerait. Even though Kemerait is not a medical doctor they trusted him and needed his help. At one point, the doctors suggested for Ula’s mom to take her home and they didn’t really provide any reason for what treatment could be done other than the fact that Ula needed chemo and perhaps they could find a hospital where the cost is cheaper. This is where Kemerait’s heart of gold steps in. As time when on, Kemerait began to share more about Ula’s situation on Facebook and many of his friends began asking how they could help. Since then, Kemerait has received words of encouragement, prayers and kind words for Ula and her family. The cost of chemo, medicines and hospitalization required for Ula to win this battle is enormous. However, Ula and her mother are not alone. Many of Kemerait’s friends stepped up with their hearts of gold and sent cards and other money to assist with the medical expenses. The donations came in a variety of ways and from a variety of individuals. Those donations provided what Ula needed for her chemo treatments. For the past month Ula has received several chemo treatments at the hospital. She is now back home. The fight is not over but the first battle is won. The last demonstration of Kemerait’s heart of gold happened when he shaved his head in support of Ula losing her hair following chemo. Many of Kemerait’s friends on Facebook showed their support by commenting, “You are the BEST!” or “You’re a good man!” or “You are one in a million.” Kemerait showed his true heart by showcasing his love and support for Ula with more than words but with action. I feel positive that Ula had a big smile on her face when seeing photos of Kemerait’s shaved head for the first time. Those gestures whether large or small definitely make a difference to those going through a fight for their life. So, whether you are supported on the farm with advice from Kemerait on how to treat plant diseases or supported by other ways, know that this plant pathologist has a heart of gold when it comes to helping others! 

Joy Carter Crosby Editor


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

 American Peanut Research Education Society Virtual Annual Meeting, July 13-15, 2021. For more information call 229-329-2949 or visit  Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 15-17, 2021, Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, Fla. For more details visit  Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day, July 22, 2021, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit or call 229-985-1968.  American Peanut Shellers Association and National Peanut Buying Points Association Pre-Harvest Meeting, Aug. 10-11, 2021. For more information visit or call 229-888-2508.  Georgia Peanut Tour, Sept. 14-16, 2021, Tifton, Ga. and surrounding area. For more information visit the tour website at  Brooklet Peanut Festival, Sept. 18, 2021. For more information visit the festival’s website at  Plains Peanut Festival, Sept. 25, 2021. For more information visit  Central Florida Peanut Festival, Oct. 2, 2021, Williston, Fla. For more information visit  Georgia Peanut Festival, Oct. 16, 2021, Sylvester, Ga. For more information visit  Sunbelt Ag Expo, Oct. 19-21, 2021, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit or call 229-985-1968.  Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Oct. 27-29, 2021, Caribe Royale Orlando Resort, Orlando, Fla. For more information visit  National Peanut Festival, Nov. 5-14, 2021, Dothan, Ala. For more information visit  Alabama Farmer’s Federation Annual meeting, Dec. 5-6, 2021, Montgomery, Ala. For more information visit (Let us know about your event. Please send details to the editor at


Big Easy

Peanut Leadership Academy graduates Class XI


wenty peanut farmers and sheller representatives from across the peanut belt graduated from Class XI of the Peanut Leadership Academy June 28, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The graduation session was held in conjunction with the 2021 USA Peanut Congress. The graduating class consisted of growers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The class also included representatives from Birdsong Peanuts and Golden Peanut & Tree Nuts. During the week, class participants and their spouses had the opportunity to step out of their familiar farming areas and learn about the history and culture of New Orleans – with a little bit of Louisiana agriculture thrown in. According to America’s Heartland, Louisiana is the nation’s largest handler of grain for export to world markets. More than 40 percent of the country’s grain exports move through

the ports of Louisiana. Louisiana’s most valuable crop is soybeans, followed by cotton and sugarcane. The state ranks No. 1 in the nation for crawfish, shrimp, alligator and oyster production. Unfortunately, the class was unable to participate in any port tours due to COVID-19 restrictions. The rest of the class’s time in New Orleans was spent attending the USA Peanut Congress, a joint meeting of the American Peanut Shellers Association and the American Peanut Council. Here, the class had a chance to network with other growers, shellers, manufacturers and allied industry. They were also able to attend industry meetings and hear updates on the latest issues facing peanuts. The Peanut Leadership Academy is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association and grower organizations. The program began in 1998 with the first class of 14 peanut growers from Alabama,

Florida and Georgia. Since then, the academy has continued to grow to include growers from Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and sheller representatives. For more information on the Peanut Leadership Academy and to download a copy of the Class XII application, visit Class XII of the program is scheduled to begin in December 2021.  B J


Peanut Leadership Academy Class XI Graduates Alabama: Wade Helms, Dothan Kevin Holland, Bay Minette Justin House, Uriah Lance Miller, Boaz Florida: Tyler Brown, Jay Ashby Massey, Graceville Mikaela Massey, Graceville Georgia: Knapp Boddiford, Sylvania Blake Edenfield, Brooklet Andrew Grimes, Tifton Kevin Rentz, Brinson North Carolina: Brandon Belch, Conway South Carolina: Neal Baxley, Mullins Texas: Lexi Floyd, Brownfield Rustin Knight, Brownfield Benny Teichroeb, Seminole Virginia: Wesley Barnes, Courtland

Peanut Leadership Academy graduation dinner. Pictured left to right (back row): Kevin Rentz, Justin House, Knapp Boddiford, Benny Teichroeb, Blake Edenfield, Tyler Brown, Rustin Knight, Brook Birdsong and Wade Helms; (front row): Ashby Massey, Mikaela & Abby Lynn Massey, Lexi Floyd and Kevin Holland.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

Sheller Representatives: Brook Birdsong, Birdsong Peanuts Carson Daughtrey, Birdsong Peanuts Megan Fletcher, Golden Peanut & Tree Nuts

Checkoff Report Investments Made by Growers for the Future of the Peanut Industry.

Georgia Peanuts promoted at Spring sports events Throughout the spring, the Georgia Peanut Commission promoted peanuts at University of Georgia home gymnastics meets, University of Georgia home baseball games and the Georgia Southern Ag Day baseball game. The University of Georgia events offered free sampling opportunities to fans in the concession stand area and hospitality suites. Fans were encouraged to snap a selfie with their pack of peanuts and post to social media for a chance to win a peanut lovers prize pack. The Georgia Southern Ag Day baseball game promotion included peanut games and facts during the game as well as a sampling opportunity. The Georgia peanuts radio spot has also aired throughout the Georgia Southern baseball season.

Georgia Peanut Commission sponsors NASCAR Cup Series Driver Anthony Alfredo at July race The Georgia Peanut Commission returns to support Anthony Alfredo and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports team July 11 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. The Commission returns after running their colors with Alfredo earlier this year at the same track. The Georgia Peanut Commission will also make a second donation to Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization, dedicated to educating people and dogs so they may enhance the lives of one another. Canine Assistants will receive 1,440 sixteen-ounce jars of creamy peanut butter with Alfredo helping to make the donation.

Georgia Peanut Commission promotes peanuts through digital ads with Salem Media The Georgia Peanut Commission promoted peanuts through Salem Media digital and YouTube advertising this Spring. The campaign, which ran from April 1 - July 30, highlighted peanuts with banner ads reflecting engaging graphics that led viewers to the GPC website. Overall, the targeted display ads resulted in more than 1.36 million impressions, which were captured via Geofence technology, keyword searches and GPC website visits. The campaign also included YouTube advertising where a :30 second commercial about peanuts was shared with viewers. The YouTube platform garnered more than 110,580 impressions.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

Social media influencers promote Georgia Peanuts Throughout May and June, the Georgia Peanut Commission partnered with three social media influencers to highlight peanut recipes for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day. The three influencers, Carly’s Eats (@carlys_eats), Jill Catch (@toatalcatch) and The Feast Kings (@thefeastkings) had a target audience of foodies and/or health-minded individuals. Recipes included Peanut Butter Banana Toast, Honey Roasted Peanut Brittle and a Bacon Peanut Butter Burger. All three recipes garnered nearly 100,000 impressions between Instagram and Tik Tok. Recipes are also available at

Mother’s Day Carly’s Eats

4,418 impressions 503 likes 160 comments 5 shares 41 saves

Memorial Day Toatal Catch

2,839 impressions 102 likes 9 comments 16 saves

Father’s Day Feast Kings

Instagram: 62,000 impressions 3,020 likes 361 shares 23 saves 23 comments Instagram Stories: 2,800 impressions 65 shares Tik tok 28,000 impressions 750 likes 16 comments

Reports from the: Alabama Peanut Producers Association Florida Peanut Producers Association Georgia Peanut Commission Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

APPA exhibits at Alabama Association of School Nurses Annual The Alabama Peanut Producers Association participated in the Alabama Association of School Nurses annual meeting June 10-11, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama. More than 170 school nurses received a packet of information on managing food allergies in schools, peanut allergies, peanut nutrition and some peanut swag. APPA also placed an ad in the conference booklet to encourage “allergen aware” practices and promote the peanut allergy facts website hosted by National Peanut Board. Don’t Be Peanut Free… APPA’s ad in the Alabama Association of School Nurses conference booklet.

Retail locations across Alabama selling 12 oz. cans of peanuts More than 100 retail locations across Alabama are now selling the Alabama Peanut Producers Association’s 12 oz. cans of skinless salted, honey roasted and butter toffee peanuts. APPA will no longer host an online gift store; however, consumers can visit shop to find a list of the locations selling the 12 oz. cans. Retailers also have the option to post the sign to left nin their storefront. Visitors to the APPA office in Dothan can still purchase peanuts and other gift items as well.

Davis, Kaiser speak at the 2021 National Peanut Conference The Alabama Federal-State Inspection Service was the host for the 2021 National Peanut Conference held in Gulf Shores, Alabama, June 7-10. This was the annual meeting of federal-state inspection supervisors from all of the U.S. Federal-State Inspection peanut producing states. The Alabama Peanut Producers supervisors from all the U.S. Association served as a sponsor for the event. Jacob peanut producing states. Davis, executive director of APPA, spoke to the group on peanut promotions. APPA vice president, Mark Kaiser, spoke on peanut production, and how thankful growers are for the efforts of the buying points and their staff. Attendees also heard from Kris Balkcom, Auburn University peanut agronomist and Marshall Lamb, research leader with the USDA- National Peanut Research Lab.

Mississippi Peanut Growers approve research The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association recently awarded four grants to Mississippi State University (MSU) Researchers using allocated funding from the National Peanut Board. Brendan Zurweller, was the Principal Investigator on “Optimizing Fungicide Applications for Soil-Borne Disease as Influenced by Crop Rotation” and “Evaluating the Impacts of Agronomic Management on Peanut Varieties with Different Canopy Growth Habits.” Brad Burgess, MSU Variety Trial Director received funding on “Standardization of Mississippi Peanut Variety Trials.” Jake Fountain, Assistant Professor at MSU will be Principal Investigator on “Development and Testing of novel inoculation methodologies for greenhouse assessment of variation in Aspergillus flavus colonization and aflatoxin contamination in peanut” with cooperating researchers Hamed Abbas, Research Plant Pathologist, Baozhu Guo, Research Plant Pathologist, Tifton, Georgia and Corley Holbrook, Supervisory Research Geneticist, Tifton, Georgia. The MPGA also has other grants that were funded separately by the Mississippi Promotion Board from grower checkoff funding on yearly tonnage of peanuts sold. MPGA is able to carry-out needed research through these grower supported grants.

FPPA promotes peanuts through iHeart Radio The Florida Peanut Producers Association teamed up with iHeart Radio to promote the consumption of peanuts. As a result of COVID-19, eating and shopping habits have changed. Though consumers are quickly returning to old habits; research shows that many consumers will keep habits like on-line shopping and eating more at home. To

ensure that grocery shoppers are learning about the benefits of peanuts and peanut products iHeart Radio and The Florida Peanut Producers Association are teaming up to “Feel Food with Peanuts” from May-July 2021. Over the duration of the campaign more than 300 twenty second ads ran on iHeart stations in Jacksonville and

Tallahassee. The different messages pointed out the sustainability, affordability and the health and nutritional benefits of consuming peanuts. The station mix in Jacksonville and Tallahassee covered a wide variety of music interest including easy listening, classic hits, news talk, country, rock, urban contemporary and urban hip hop.

July/August 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Upcoming Peanut Field Days


ield days throughout the summer months provide growers with educational information to assist them with production on their farm. Many of the updates presented include information on a variety of research projects including variety development, weed, disease and insect management, precision agriculture and more. Many times the results of the research projects are new findings or updates on new products available for farmers. Also, many of the field days offer continuing education pesticide applicators credit so farmers should make sure they register in advance or complete proper paperwork at the field days in order to receive credit. The Southeastern Peanut Farmer has compiled a list of the upcoming field days offered throughout the Southeast relating to peanuts or general crop field days.

July 22, 2021 - Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit or call 229985-1968.

Aug. 11, 2021 - Southeast Georgia Research & Education Center Field Day, Midville, Ga. Field day begins at 9:00 a.m. and concludes with lunch. Attendees will need to pre-register at For additional information call 478-589-7472. August 19, 2021 - Florida Peanut Field Day, North Florida Research and Education Center, Marianna, Fla. (3925 Highway 71, Marianna, Fla. 32446). For more information call 850-526-1611. Aug. 20, 2021 - Alabama Row Crop Field Day, Wiregrass Research and Extension Center, Headland, Ala. For more information call 334-693-2010.

Aug. 24, 2021 - Pre-harvest Field Day, North Florida Research and Education Center - Suwannee Valley, Live Oak, Fla. (8202 County Road 417, Live Oak, Fla. 32060). Regional pre-harvest peanut field day with live equipment demonstrations and a trade show. For more details contact De Broughton at 386-688-0454 or Aug. 26, 2021 - West Florida Row Crop Extension Field Day, West Florida Research and Education Center, Jay, Fla. (4253 Experiment Dr, Jay, Fla. 32565) For more information call 850-393-7334. Sept. 8, 2021 - Cotton and Peanut Research Field Day, UGA Tifton Campus, Tifton, Ga. For more information call 229-386-3696 or visit 

2021 Georgia Peanut Tour Set for Tifton Area


he thirty-fourth annual Georgia Peanut Tour will be held Sept. 14-16, 2021, in Tifton, 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 Baker, Colquitt, Mitchell, Tift and Worth. 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 Tifton Campus. The tour kicks off this year with the Hot Topics Seminar on Sept. 14 at 3 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton, Georgia. The seminar topics include an update on the 2021 Georgia peanut crop and a special focus on aflatoxin. The Georgia Peanut Commission, University of Georgia-Tifton Campus and Griffin Campus, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service National


During the 2019 Georgia Peanut Tour, attendees were able to see how peanuts are harvested at Chase Farms in Oglethorpe, Ga.

Peanut Research Lab coordinate the tour. Hotel accommodations can be made at the Hilton Garden Inn, Tifton, Georgia by calling 229-382-8484. Rooms are available at the rate of $125 plus tax for a standard room. Breakfast is included. Be sure to ask for the 2021 Georgia Peanut Tour room block when making a

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

reservation. The room block deadline is Aug. 24, 2021. Visit to register and view tour schedule. The early bird registration rate is $90 prior to Aug. 6, 2021. For more information, contact Hannah Jones at 229-386-3470 or via email at 

May/June 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer




Making the Grade

s you well know, low grading peanuts hit your bottom line. For example, Buni Durr, vice president at Locke Farm Center, Inc., Shellman, Georgia, says, “A 70 grade brings $25 less a ton than a 75.” Granted, you’re at the mercy of harvest-time weather. However, Scott Montfort, University of Georgia (UGA) peanut specialist, says there are a number of practices that can stack the odds in your favour. First, he doesn’t separate yield and grade. “They go together. It starts with producing good yields of high-quality peanuts,” Monfort says. To get on the right track, he says to soil test and make sure you correct any nutrient deficiencies in your fields. Next, no matter what type of land preparation works for your soil, make sure it results in a good, seed-friendly bed. Auburn University (AU) peanut specialist Kris Balkcom agrees. “Get a good uniform stand so the peanuts germinate and emerge at the same time. Then you’ll have plants the same age,” Balkcom says. Montfort also emphasizes the importance of variety selection. “In Georgia, our number one variety is GA06G, 85 percent of our acres are planted in it. That variety is one of our best chances to stay highly productive.” Next, the UGA specialist says to switch to the protection mode. “Lay a game plan and manage disease, weeds and insects in a timely manner throughout the growing season.” Monfort recommends using a crop scout and having him or her walk your fields once a week so you can get ahead of problems. If the scout does see problems, he or your county extension agent should be able to help you come up with a solution. Under the heading of disease, Montfort emphasizes that a sound fungicide program is critical. “It is extremely important to decide which fungicide program you’re going to use based on the problems you’ve had in the past. We don’t necessarily need the


Digging peanuts at Lovett Farms in Cuthbert, Ga. Maturity of peanuts is a key component of grades, so deciding when to dig is critical.

highest priced fungicide program but we don’t need a bare bones one, either. Use one that has worked for you historically.” Remember to maintain a timely spray schedule, too. A typical fungicide spray program consists of six or seven applications throughout the growing season starting 30 days after planting until 120 days plus or minus after planting. If you have questions about the effectiveness of select fungicides, Montfort suggests contacting your county agent or Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension plant pathologist. Gypsum applications to provide needed calcium are also critical for seed production. Where soil calcium is low, Montfort recommends taking a pegging zone soil sample to determine calcium levels at the 4” depth. He also cautions growers, “Don’t use foliar calcium products. They don’t work.” In addition, he reminds growers to make sure to apply boron with two foliar applications of one fourth a pound an acre each. If you have irrigation, he says, “Stay on top of irrigation needs. The best way to schedule is with soil moisture monitors/ sensors in the field.” “All we can do is stay ahead of potential problems, but if growers can do all these things, we can basically be assured the crop will be productive, barring natural disasters.” That leaves the all-important dilemma of when to dig and pick.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

“Pay attention to crop maturity,” Montfort stresses. “Work with your county agent. Weather plays a role but the hull scrape board is one of the best ways we can predict maturity at this point.” Auburn’s Balkcom agrees. “Instead of just looking at the days to maturity, use pod blasting. See how uniform the peanuts are. The reason we can’t go by days of maturity is because of weather and conditions. Peanuts are an indeterminate crop. If it was dry early in the season and then started raining, it might hinder the peanuts from fruiting as soon as they normally would. If they are a 140-day maturity variety, they might go to a 150 to 165-day crop.” While you’re waiting between pod blasting sessions, Montfort urges growers to hit the shop. “Keep your equipment maintained and in good working order.” He also stresses patience. “Don’t try to get in a hurry and dig improperly. That can cause damage to the peanuts as we’re harvesting. Make sure not to dig peanuts when they’re either too wet or too dry or you’ll pull peanuts off the vine. Knowing when to do all that is so important.” Even though you may save drying costs, he adds. “Don’t let the peanuts field dry below 12 to 15 percent. That will minimize LSKs or shell out losses.” And pray for no hurricanes hopefully this will be your best season ever.  B B




The Lady at Locke

f you’ve hauled peanuts to Locke Farm Center in Shellman, Georgia, you know the lady who keeps the wagons and semis rolling. Buni Locke Durr started training for her job in the early seventies, while she was still in high school. Her father, Bobby Locke, bought a peanut and grain business based in Leesburg and by ’75 he bought more peanut buying points in Dawson, their hometown, as well as Americus, Sylvester and Plains. When Durr graduated from high school, she also graduated to the farm center in Americus while she went to Georgia Southwestern University. When asked about her college major, she just rolls her eyes. “Accounting. That was by necessity, not by choice. If Daddy hadn’t had this business I would have probably gone a different path,” Durr says. While she isn’t certain, she imagines she might have been a home economist, given her love of cooking and her father’s background as an extension agent and 4-H leader. Fortunately for area growers, she followed her family and not her heart. In ’83, she married Richard Durr, who later joined Locke Farm Center as manager of the Shellman location while Buni worked full time at the Dawson facility. Their three children, Mathew, Chesley and Delle, also made their appearance and Buni decided to go part time so she could spend more time with them. It didn’t work out too well. Once again, Buni just rolls her eyes. “Richard’s secretary up and quit. I started coming in to do the books. He never looked for anybody else,” Durr says. Rather than permanent fill in secretary, her job title is now vice president of Locke Farm Center, Inc. After selling all the other locations except Dawson, which her brother, Rodney Locke manages, that means Durr does all the grain and peanut buying and bookkeeping for the Shellman facility. That also means


Buni Durr at Locke Farm Center in Shellman, Ga., keeps track of peanuts from the time they are weighed in until they leave the warehouse.

she’s glued to her desk during the warm months. “We get wheat from the end of May through a couple of weeks in June. Then corn from the end of July through August. It runs right into peanut season,” Durr says. “Peanut season runs from the first or middle of September to the end of October and it is seven days a week.” She and co-worker Matt Taylor handle and track around 7,000 to 8,000 tons of peanuts a season, from the time the wagons and semis roll in the yard until they leave the warehouse. “We just hope it rains in there somewhere so we can have a day or two to catch up,” Durr says. Those catch-up days are badly needed, and not just in the office. Durr is also the main caregiver for her mother, Barbara, and she has five grandchildren, ages 21 months to seven years. In addition, Durr also attempts to keep area farmers in line. “Buni and I are about the same age

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

and have always known each other,” says Shellman, Georgia, grower John Lamb. “Most of the time she treats me like a brother, but there are times she acts like my mother. When she does, I probably need it.” To avoid a motherly lecture, and to help their bottom line, Durr urges area farmers to bring in clean, dry peanuts. “Cleaning and drying can run up to $25 to $30 a ton,” Durr says. Still, she knows they’re at the mercy of the weather and their soil types. “Most of the peanuts coming from Randolph County have to be cleaned because of the clay in the soil,” she notes. And be nice. Or maybe not, especially if you’re fortunate enough to eat one of her meals or feast your eyes on her work of art birthday cakes. “Richard can always tell when I’m upset because I’m in the kitchen cooking.” Then again, she is the lady that writes the checks, so nice is probably best.  B B



Harvest Equipment Checklist Peanut Digger

Combine maintenance checklist Pre-harvest Checklist

Pre-harvest Checklist  Check the entire machine for loose or worn parts.  Make sure the plow shanks are not bent and the digger blades run level.  Straighten any bent rattler bars.  Check all bearings and the gear box oil level.  Check coulters and vine cutters for proper location and condition.  Align the inversion rods before digging (see operator manual for proper spacing).  Check for binding or unusual noises by operating the machine briefly.  Have plenty of extra digger blades on hand.

 Clean inside and out, removing all dirt and residue from the previous crop.  Check for loose, bent, broken, or missing parts such as pickup springs, cylinder springs and stripper springs.  Check air lift ducts for holes, lodged objects and dirt buildup.  Make sure all shields are functional and in good shape.  Replace the “Slow Moving Vehicle” sign if it is not in good condition.

Harvest Season Checklist Harvest Season Checklist  Check digger blades for proper sharpness and depth.  Coulters should cut vines leaving no clumps.  Check the flow of material through the digger. Make sure ground speed is synchronized to produce a smooth flow of vines and soil into the digger.  Make sure drive belts are tight.  Check for proper vine inversion and inversion rod spacing.

 Adjust settings according to windrow conditions. Remember, no combination of settings will remain optimal throughout a given day.  Check combined peanuts periodically for LSK’s and foreign material.  Check chaff passing through the combine for excessive pod loss. If problems occur, adjust stripper spring settings.

Butts receives 2021 Peanut Research and Education Award


he winner of the 2021 Peanut Research and Education Award is Chris Butts, agricultural engineer at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia. Butts, has had a 35+ year career focused on improving postharvest handling and processing of peanuts. The award was presented by the American Peanut Council at the annual USA Peanut Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana. His main research accomplishments have been to develop decision support systems to reduce inconsistency in drying farmers stock peanuts, develop systems for minimizing losses during farmers stock storage, and reduce losses during cold storage and transit of shelled peanuts. His research in peanut drying resulted in a decision support system called PECMAN to facilitate the realtime management of a commercial drying operations at peanut buying points. PECMAN was first released in 1995 and today the program is available to every peanut buying point in the United States as part of the buying point management program called E-Nuts. Butts’ drying research has resulted in the development


of networked dryer control systems by at least two commercial entities. Butts was one of the pioneer researchers in the modification of semi-trailers for drying peanuts. Butts’ farmers stock storage research resulted in guidelines for warehouse headspace ventilation and floor aeration systems. He has developed an on-line tool and spreadsheets to calculate storage capacity and ventilation system specifications for conventional and flat storage warehouses. Butts has conducted research in storage and transit of shelled peanuts which included monitoring temperature and humidity conditions in the totes from bag-out into cold storage into the shipping container to the overseas destination, finding that poor temperature and humidity conditions occurred primarily at the ports awaiting loading onto the ship and after unloading from the ship. This research resulted in the APC Packaging & Handling Task Force amending the Good Management Practices for Cold Storage to include temperatures up to 55 F and modifying the APC Tote Bag Specifications. Butts is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

Trey Davis, director of state and local government affairs at Bayer CropScience, presents the 2021 Peanut Research and Education Award to Chris Butts, agricultural engineer at the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga.

Engineers. He is also a member of the American Peanut Research and Education Society, having served on numerous committees and as Editor of Peanut Science. He has received the APRES Coyt T. Wilson Distinguished Service Award. He has been designated as Fellow of both of these scientific societies. Butts serves on the American Peanut Council Packaging and Handling Task Force and on the American Peanut Shellers Association, Operations and Research Committee. 

Washington Outlook by Robert L. Redding Jr.

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves Peanut Projects The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies appropriations legislation. Included in the Fiscal Year 2022 package are two important research initiatives for peanuts. U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies led the effort for funding of both initiatives. The U.S. Peanut Federation supports Chairman Bishop’s efforts to resolve aflatoxin issues for the peanut industry. In addition, the USPF has been working with The Peanut Institute to assure peanuts are utilized, as best possible, in the various federal feeding programs. Included for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service are the following initiatives in the FY 2022 legislation: Peanut Nutrition Research — The committee recognizes the need for more research to identify how peanut consumption contributes to overall health, wellness, and reduces chronic disease risk in various groups and across the lifespan. The committee encourages research topics to include chronic diseases, nutrition and wellness across the lifespan, health disparities, dietary patterns for optimal health and nutrition for the future. The committee provides $1,000,000 to implement this peanut nutrition research. Peanut Research — The committee provides an additional $1,500,000 above the fiscal year 2021 level to support research activities to mitigate aflatoxin contamination in peanuts. The committee directs the Agricultural Research Service to enhance ongoing collaborations with land grant institutions to further advance research efforts.


Warnock-Tuberville Lead U.S. Senate EU Peanut Letter USPF Applauds Senate Efforts The U.S. Peanut Federation, comprised of peanut growers, shellers, and buying points, applauded the efforts of nineteen U.S. Senators requesting assistance from the Administration on European Union non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. peanut exports. U.S. Senators Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, and Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, led the Senate effort for the letter. The U.S. Department of Agriculture grades U.S. peanuts for quality and safety including testing protocols for aflatoxin. However, in addition to the USDA’s safety measures, the EU has placed further excessive aflatoxin requirements on U.S. peanut imports. These additional requirements have become non-tariff trade barriers for the U.S. peanut industry. In 2020, U.S. growers exported 668,000 metric tons of peanuts. The EU’s stringent tests have cost U.S. growers $170 million in recent years, and USPF reports that the losses in the first quarter of 2021 total an additional $130 million in anticipated lost sales. Senators urged the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA to work together stating, “As U.S. Senators who proudly represent peanut farmers in our states, we strongly support joint efforts by USDA and USTR to engage with your EU counterparts with the goal of reducing exiting non-tariff trade barriers on peanut exports.” The letter went on to state that effectively negotiating a solution to this longstanding problem will ultimately allow increased market access for U.S. peanuts. (See full letter on page 20.) Karl Zimmer, Chairman of the USPF said, “The EU is critical to the future of the U.S. peanut industry. Despite years of trying to resolve this non-tariff barrier for U.S. peanut exports, the industry has been unable to do so, and U.S. peanut sales to the EU have plummeted. We greatly appreciate the work of these senators in trying to resolve this critical issue for peanut state economies.”

House Appropriations Leaders DeLauro and Bishop Seek FDA Food Spending Answers House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa L. DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and Subcommittee Chair Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Georgia, sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., requesting transparency related to the budget for food programs at the FDA. In their letter, DeLauro and Bishop wrote, “the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) receives approximately 70 percent of the funds Congress appropriates for the food program. We are concerned that ORA’s substantial overhead and lack of transparency and accountability in resource management present obstacles to the efficient and effective use of ORA’s appropriated resources and fulfillment of the prevention mandate of FDA’s food program.” Considering the FDA’s recent proposal to reduce the inspection frequency requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act, DeLauro and Bishop are seeking information on staffing levels, positions, and functions in the Office of Regulatory Affairs related to the food program to determine whether additional budget transparency, accountability, and efficiencies are needed. “The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition is ultimately responsible for safeguarding the food supply, especially as it relates to the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act,” the members continued. “However, CFSAN has no role in planning the use of ORA’s non-operational resources, which results in a lack of transparency even within FDA on how ORA uses its resources allocated for the food program.” (See full letter on page 21.)

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20515 June 22, 2021 The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20250

The Honorable Katerine Tai U.S. Trade Representative Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 600 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20508

Dear Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Tai, We write to bring your attention to ongoing non-tariff trade barriers from the European Union (E.U.) affecting the domestic peanut sector. We encourage the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to prioritize interagency collaboration and industry engagement in order to negotiatie an effective solution with your E.U. counterparts that will utimately allow increaseed market access for U.S. peanuts. According to data published by USDA, domestic peanut farmers produced over 1.6 million acres of peanuts in 2020 with a farm gate value of over $1.2 billion. Due to their susceptibility to naturally-occurring aflatoxin, domestic peanut growers are subject to USDA testing to ensure all peanuts harvested for human consumption are safe to enter the food supply. U.S. growers have a long history of partnering with USDA to ensure their harvest is safe, with USDA also working on research initiatives to address the underlying causes of aflatoxin contamination and to improve post-harvest handling. Collectively, these efforts demonstrate that U.S. farmers and government officials are actively working to ensure that peanuts produced domestically are safe. In 2020, an estimated 668,000 metric tons of U.S. produced peanuts were exported to international markets. Unfortunately, stringent E.U. testing requirements for aflatoxin are preventing increased U.S. exports into this high-value market. In recent years, the U.S. industry estimates they have lost approximately $170 million in sales into the E.U. due to difficulties presented by these burdensome testing requirements. A review of data from the first quarter 2021 indicates an additional $130 million in anticipated lost sales. Without efforts to negotiate a workable solution that will increase opportunities for domestic peanut operations, our farmers and businesses will continue to struggle with prohibitive requirements set by international partners. As U.S. Senators who proudly represent peanut farmers in our states, we strongly support joint efforts by USDA and USTR to engage with your E.U. coutnerparts with the goal of reducing existing non-tariff trade barriers on peanut exports. Increased market access will utimately benefit the peanut farmers in our states, and we stand ready to support your efforts on their behalf. Thank you for consideration of this request. Respectfully, Reverend Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia Bill Cassidy, M.D., R-Louisiana Tim Scott, R-South Carolina Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina Lindsey O. Graham, R-South Carolina Marco Rubio, R-Florida Richard F. Wicker, R-Mississippi Richard Shelby, R-Alabama Ted Cruz, R-Texas Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2021

Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas Mark Warner, D-Virginia John Boozman, R-Arkansas Tim Kaine, D-Virginia Richard Burr, R-North Carolina Rick Scott, R- Florida Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi John Cornyn, R-Texas

Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20515 May 13, 2021 Janet Woodcock, M.D. Acting Commissioner U.S. Food and Drug Administration 10903 New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20993 Dear Acting Commissioner Woodcock: We write to express concern over the lack of transparency related to the budget for food programs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As you know, the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) receives approximately 70 percent of the funds Congress appropriates for the food program. We are concerned that ORA’s substantial overhead and lack of transparency and accountability in resource management present obstacles to the efficient and effective use of ORA’s appropriated resources and fulfillment of the prevention mandate of FDA’s food program. From FY2018 to FY2019, ORA’s food funding was essentially flat at $732 million. However, key indicators of performance declined significantly. For instance: domestic inspections decreased 18 percent, resulting in over 1,500 fewer inspections; visual exams of imported food products declined 25 percent, resulting in 29,000 fewer exams; and sampling of imported products decreased 21 percent, resulting in 3,500 fewer samples being taken for testing. During FY2019, Congress funded 2,179 food full-time equivalent (FTE) positions for ORA, but ORA allocated only 785 positions for food safety compliance and inspection staff. At the end of the 2019 calendar year, over 100 – over 13 percent -- of these positions were vacant. We have been advised that the method ORA uses to calculate operational tasks such as inspections and enforcement assumes that each inspection and compliance staff member spends 950 hours per year (out of a potential work year of 2080 hours) on these operational tasks, meaning it takes over two field staff to perform the duties of one FTE. Also, a significant percentage of ORA human food functions performed in both field offices and FDA headquarters are deemed non-operational and, unlike operational FTEs, there is no timekeeping to document how ORA’s nonoperational food resources are spent. The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) is ultimately responsible for safeguarding the food supply, especially as it relates to the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). However, CFSAN has no role in planning the use of ORA’s non-operational resources, which results in a lack of transparency even within FDA on how ORA uses its resources allocated for the food program. As part of our process of developing the FDA budget for FY 2022, please respond to the following questions in a timely manner. 1) What accounts for the significant declines from FY 2018 to FY 2019 in the number of domestic inspections, import exams and import analyses performed by ORA? 2) What accounts for the vacancies in ORA food inspection and compliance positions? 3) What are the staffing levels and vacancy rates in all other ORA positions that play roles related to food? 4) To the extent ORA was not able to staff its food positions at the FTE level for which dollars were appropriated in FY 2019 and FY 2020, please provide details on how ORA allocated these funds. 5) Why are ORA inspection and compliance staff assumed to devote only 950 hours per year to operational work? How is the remainder of the time allocated? 6) For FY 2019 and FY 2020, please provide detailed, quantitative information on the ORA organizational units and functions, staff positions, and FTEs engaged in operational and non-operational work related to the food program. 7) What is the decision-making process within the FDA for how food resources are allocated between operational and non-operational functions? Also, what is the decision-making process for how food resources are allocated among program areas, such as domestic and foreign inspections, import oversight, and laboratory analysis? 8) How does ORA evaluate and report the extent to which it completes the tasks in the annual work plan? Please provide any such reports for FY 2015 – FY 2020. 9) Please provide estimates of the average cost of ORA’s domestic and foreign inspections, the methodology for developing these estimates, and a comparison of ORA’s average inspection costs with the costs of state inspections. Thank you for your attention to this issue. Please provide responses to these questions as soon as possible. Sincerely, Rosa L. DeLauro Chair House Appropriations Committee

Sanford D. Bishop Jr. Chairman House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies

July/August 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Southern Peanut Growers Don’t Forget Peanuts and Peanut Butter During National Camping Month

FCCLA National Leadership Conference

June is National Camping Month and camping has really surged in popularity since COVID-19. Southern Peanut Growers teamed up with SanDisk and Ranger Ready bug spray to sponsor camping expert Meggan Kaiser on a national Satellite Media Tour. On June 9, Kaiser did 26 interviews with television and online media outlets via satellite from an Atlanta studio. She shared how she relies Meggan Kaiser shared a new recipe for making S’mores with on peanuts as part of a homemade trail mix while camping and hiking as a filling and nutritious snack. peanut butter cups during the satellite media tour. She was most excited to share her new campfire discovery – making S’mores with peanut butter cups! While some interviews are still being aired, the current reach is a cumulative audience of 12.9 million people with an advertising value of more than $291,000. Meggan Kaiser is an Atlanta-based actress, author, travel host, and foodie. She recently wrote the book “Everywhere for Nothing: Free Travel for the Modern Nomad.”

Southern Peanut Growers hosted a virtual exhibit at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) national leadership conference June 27 – July 2. FCCLA boasts more than 175,000 members in 5,300 chapters across the United States. In addition to speakers, competitions and breakout sessions, this year’s format includes a virtual exhibit hall with close to nearly 100 exhibitors and 38 colleges and universities. The Southern Peanut Growers exhibit features videos about America’s peanut farmers and early introduction of peanuts to help prevent peanut allergy. The exhibit also has content to download in the areas of sustainability, foodservice and nutrition which will be available into the fall when school starts back. Attendees were also able to join the SPG mailing list for future content.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce Make Your Meals Extraordinary with Peanut Butter What’s for dinner?! It’s the dreaded question of the day—especially during the summer months when it’s too hot to cook and everyone’s too busy to think much about it anyways. Grabbing some ready-to-eat meals at the grocery store is tempting because they just take a few minutes to prepare—and they’re better than Fast Food, right? Here’s an easy way to turn an OK bagged salad mix from the produce section into a really extraordinary meal!

Ingredients: 1 bagged Asian Chopped Salad Mix 16 cooked shrimp, cut in half lengthwise Fresh mango or avocado, cut into strips 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter Rice paper wrappers

Directions: Open the Chopped Salad Mix and take out the additional ingredient packages. Pour the dressing into a small bowl and whisk in about 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter (this works especially well with sesame ginger vinaigrette type dressings) and set aside as a dipping sauce. Look at the crunchy toppings which often include nuts, fried wonton strips and even toasted coconut. If they are in larger pieces, further chop them so they’re easy to sprinkle in your roll. You can add some chopped peanuts if your mix doesn’t include nuts. Have everything laid out in order for easy assembly, because the assembly happens quickly! One at a time, dip your rice paper wrapper into warm water and lay on a cutting board. Top with ingredients in this order—shrimp, mango or avocado, chopped salad, chopped crunchy toppings. Fold in sides of rice paper over the edges of your ingredients and wrap into a spring roll. Set on a serving platter and continue making rolls until you’ve used your ingredients. Serve with peanut butter dipping sauce.

Southern Peanut Growers

1025 Sugar Pike Way · Canton, Georgia 30115 Phone: (770) 751-6615 email: Visit our website at

September 14 - 16, 2021 Tifton, Ga. & Surrounding Area

For more information contact: Georgia Peanut Commission P.O. Box 967, Tifton GA 31793 Phone: 229-386-3470 Fax: 229-386-3501 Email:


Profile for SEPF

July/August 2021 - Southeastern Peanut Farmer  

July/August 2021 - Southeastern Peanut Farmer  

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