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A communication service of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

Contents July/August 2020


Joy Carter Crosby Editor joycrosby@gapeanuts.com 229-386-3690

Agriculture, deemed as an essential business, did not slow down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, scientists and agribusinesses found new ways to continue the work and research, communicate with farmers and keep everyone safe.

Director of Advertising Jessie Bland jessie@gapeanuts.com Contributing Writers Kaye Lynn Hataway klhataway@alpeanuts.com Southeastern Peanut Farmer P.O. Box 706, Tifton, Ga. 31793 445 Fulwood Blvd., Tifton, Ga. 31794 ISSN: 0038-3694

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.

Working through a Pandemic


Thrive with Peanuts School snacks made with peanuts could help students in Africa recover from malnutrition and thrive in school. A four-year study plans to compare the peanut snack with other snacks using tubers or cereal. The snack could also create more demand for U.S. peanuts.


Harvest Guidebook The 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer Harvest Guidebook features information on harvest equipment maintenance, replanting impact at harvest, using remote sensing for peanut maturity and how to determine optimum peanut maturity at harvest.

Departments: Checkoff Report .................................................................................. 5 Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

Washington Outlook ............................................................................ 24 Southern Peanut Growers Update ........................................................ 26 Cover Photo: Peanut digging at the farm of Charley and Lee Cromley farm in Bulloch County, Georgia. Photo by Joy Crosby.

July/August 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Editorial Stay Safe at Harvest sually around harvest time you hear a story about a farm accident. In some cases, the accident happens on the farm and in other cases it happens while moving equipment from one field to the next. Regardless, the news is always devastating and either leaves your world turned upside down or thanking God that the accident wasn’t any worse. My papa had several accidents on the farm. Some happened before I was born and others I remember vividly. He fell one time from the rafters while hanging tobacco. Another time he was hooking up equipment and the tractor rolled back over his foot, breaking it in the process. He also fell one time while cleaning brush on the fence row and was burned badly. So, even after multiple accidents resulting in broken ankles and feet, he never let it get him down. Once healed he would get back out on the farm because the work had to be done. The 2018 data for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 574 fatalities, or an equivalent of 23.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agriculture industry. Accidents happen and we never know when they will happen. However, today we can strive to be more prepared through proper planning and slowing down. There are also ways to be safe in today’s age of technology. A simple text to a family member letting them know what you are going to be doing and in what field, and then a text when the specific job is finished. That way family members know where you are and can check on you if they haven’t heard from you in a while. I know everyone gets busy at harvest time and sometimes in our rush to get things done, we may make a mistake which can sometimes be costly for those we love. So, as you continue through the summer of spraying and then into fall with harvest, please be Joy Carter Crosby safe, slow down and stay in touch! t Editor


Stay Safe this Harvest Season

Calendar of Events u Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day, July 23, 2020, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit sunbeltexpo.com or call 229-985-1968. u American Peanut Shellers Association and National Peanut Buying Points Association Pre-Harvest Virtual Meeting, Aug. 12, 2020, For more information visit peanut-shellers.org or call 229-888-2508. u Wiregrass Research and Extension Center Row Crops Field Day, Aug. 21, 2020, WREC, Headland, Ala. For more information call 334-693-2010. u Plains Peanut Festival, Sept. 26, 2020. For more information visit plainsgeorgia.com. u Central Florida Peanut Festival, Oct. 3, 2020, Williston, Fla. For more information visit willistonfl.com. u Georgia Peanut Festival, Oct. 17, 2020, Sylvester, Ga. For more information visit gapeanutfestival.org. u Sunbelt Ag Expo, Oct. 20-22, 2020, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit sunbeltexpo.com or call 229-985-1968. u National Peanut Festival, Nov. 6-15, 2020, Dothan, Ala. For more information visit nationalpeanutfestival.com. u Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Jan. 21, 2021, University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton, Ga. For more information visit gapeanuts.com. u Georgia Young Farmers Association State Convention, Jan. 29-30, 2021, Great Wolf Lodge, LaGrange, Ga. For more info visit gaaged.org/youngfarmers.

Follow these simple reminders to have a safe harvest season. 1. Turn off power before adjusting, servicing or unclogging power-driven machinery. 2. Make sure loads being towed are properly hitched to the drawbar and that pins and chains are in place. 3. Display slow-moving vehicle signs on machinery towed or driven on the highways. 4. Have shields and guards in place and maintained at all times. 5. Inspect and maintain all hydraulic hoses and couplings. 6. Make sure tires are properly inflated. 7. Inspect and maintain all machinery, equipment and tools to keep them in proper working condition. 8. Have first-aid kits available and develop an emergency plan.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

u Alabama/Florida Peanut Trade Show, Feb. 4, 2021, National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, Dothan, Ala. For more info visit alpeanuts.com or flpeanuts.com. u Georgia Peanut Research Report Day, Feb. 10, 2021, University of Georgia NESPAL Seminar Room, Tifton, Ga. For more info visit gapeanuts.com.

(Let us know about your event. Please send details to the editor at joycrosby@gapeanuts.com.

Checkoff Report Investments Made by Growers for the Future of the Peanut Industry. Reports from the: Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission & Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

APPA promotes peanuts to Alabama beachgoers With Alabama beaches back open, the Alabama Peanut Producers Association wanted to be sure beachgoers got the message to eat more peanuts. Partnering with National Peanut Board through co-promotion funds and design assistance from Golin, APPA placed three digital billboards on Alabama Highway 59 – the most traveled route to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The message “Peanuts – America’s favorite beach snack. Filling. Nutritious. And easy to pack,” was posted for four weeks, June 15 – July 12, 2020, for south bound traffic to see. This campaign garnered approximately 1.0 million impressions.

APPA exhibits at the Virtual Meeting of the Alabama American Academy of Pediatrics After postponing their spring meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alabama American Academy of Pediatrics hosted a virtual meeting and pediatric update on June 13-14, 2020. The Alabama Peanut Producers Association participated in a Virtual Exhibit Hall by sharing early introduction of peanuts information and guiding participants to the PreventPeanutAllergies.org website. APPA also gave away a goody basket of early introduction products through a virtual door prize contest. Approximately 80 pediatricians and staff attended the virtual meeting.

Georgia Peanut Commission sponsors Georgia FFA

The Alabama Peanut Producers Association billboard attracts tourists traveling to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach area on Alabama Highway 59.

Georgia Peanuts promoted on Southern Ag Trailers The Georgia Peanut Commission sponsored the printing and installation of peanut promotion decals, which were installed on seven trailers owned by Southern Ag Carriers. The messaging used the Georgia Peanuts logo and the humble peanut’s recent Superfood status to promote peanut consumption among consumers. The Georgia Peanut Commission’s website was also included. The trailers will be used throughout the United States and have the potential to generate more than 600 visual impressions for every mile driven (according to the American Trucking Association).

The Georgia Peanut Commission and the Peanut Institute teamed up to sponsor the Georgia FFA Star in Agriscience Award during the virtual Georgia FFA State Convention held May 28-29, 2020. The State Star in Agriscience Joseph Corbett, Georgia FFA Star in Award was presented Agriscience State to Joseph Corbett of Lowndes County FFA. Winner The additional state finalists included Adonis Merritt, North region winner from Newton College and Career Academy and Maddie Riggins, Central region winner from Pike County.

July/August 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Jordan Jacobs, parts salesman at Lasseter Tractor Company, hands over a part to Mark Roberts of Moultrie, Ga. Lasseter Tractor Company has set up a barrier for customers to remain at least 6 feet apart when picking up items at the store counter.

Working through a


orking from home and social distancing has become normal in the workplace the last few months due to COVID-19. For those involved in agriculture, this has not been normal. Farmers and those involved in agriculture have still worked, but in a different way. The personal one-on-one conversations at the farm, handshakes and tractor rides may have slowed down or come to a halt. Additionally, meetings, field days, fairs and festivals have been canceled. These events have all had an impact on those involved in agriculture, an industry that thrives on customer relationships and personal interaction. “The greatest impact COVID-19 has had on work is the inability to conduct



and attend meetings and conferences,” says Brendan Zurweller, Mississippi State University peanut agronomist. “Several meetings from county, state and national level have been canceled. The annual APRES (American Peanut Research and Education Society) meeting has also changed to a virtual format for this year.” However, research projects on peanuts have not been canceled or halted across the Southeast. “Even during the lockdown, essential research activities with time sensitivity such as agriculture were allowed to continue at Mississippi State University with certain social distancing practices being implemented,” he says. “Other research activities such as grant writing and manuscripts preparation/submission continued as normal from the home

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

office. We are now in our second phase of re-opening and reporting to the work office when not in the field.” Research may have got off to a slow start with many unknowns on what was allowed, but once the paperwork and approvals were finalized, research continued almost like normal years. “COVID-19 has definitely slowed the normal activities and changed how activities are conducted at the University of Georgia as a whole over the last three to four months,” says Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist. “The one vital thing that has not changed is the commitment of the Extension Service to the growers in Georgia. Both agents and specialists have continued to serve its agricultural clientele during the pandemic. This has

been extremely important as peanut growers have gone through a very rough planting season just to get adequate stands.” Communication is the Key Even though meetings were canceled, the ability to continue a conversation with customers has not been halted. Communication has been different though without the face-to-face interaction in some cases. According to Lee Prather, senior retail sales representative with Syngenta, the pandemic has helped him to be more efficient in planning. He is used to being on the road visiting farmers and retailers. However, the pandemic slowed his travel and required him to use the phone, email and text more. He also had to plan more visits with farmers and retailers instead of just showing up. He is used to walking up to farmers and shaking hands. However, the harsh reality set in when he realized he can’t continue to shake everyone’s hand or even ride in the truck or tractor with the farmer. Company policy at Syngenta currently doesn’t allow Prather to ride in a vehicle with another farmer or even let a farmer ride in his work truck.

“Agriculture is a highly personal business though, and we want to make sure we are doing our best to continue to grow our relationships and provide a high level of service. With that, there will always be the need to go and see folks face-toface, and we just want to make sure we are doing our due diligence to protect them and to protect ourselves.” “Everyone is trying to be cautious,” Prather says. “I haven’t stayed in a hotel in 115 days, but my time driving in my truck has increased to 300 plus miles per day.” His sales area includes retailers from Augusta to Unadilla, Georgia. Prather even thinks the pandemic has helped farmers be more efficient too. “I have noticed more farmers stocking up on chemicals they need for the entire season,” he says. “Everyone was nervous about the unknown, so with acres up, farmers planned more in advance.” The key, according to Prather, is communication and not going radio silent with farmers and retailers during the early stage of the pandemic. To help with communication, Syngenta created a

Josh Hood, road technician with Lasseter Tractor Company in Tifton, Ga., works on his computer to remotely diagnose a sprayer issue in McRae, Ga., through the John Deere Mobile Telematics Gateway. The program has allowed Hood and others with John Deere to correct any issues remotely while keeping the farmer and dealership staff safe and healthy.

Carlton Self, Tifton Store Manager Lasseter Tractor Company biweekly newsletter distributed to farmers and retailers through email. According to Prather, the newsletter wasn’t aimed as a sales pitch, but a way to keep the lines of communication open by sharing agronomic tips for the season. In addition to Syngenta, tractor dealerships had to find ways to communicate with their customers too. “As with all business, COVID-19 has presented many unique challenges that we’ve had to adjust to,” says Carlton Self, manager of Lasseter Tractor in Tifton, Georgia. “We have to offer a high level of customer support and a differentiated customer experience in an environment where our face-to-face interactions have been limited out of necessity in an effort to protect our customers and employees.” As a John Deere dealer, he says a large part of their business comes in the form of customer support, through parts and equipment service. So, Lassester Tractor Company started using more curbside pickup, deliveries and drop locations for their parts service. Since COVID-19 restrictions coincided with planting season, which is a very busy time for tractor dealerships, Self says they were able to utilize more remote diagnostic capabilities to address issues with tractors in the field. “This helped reduce face-to-face interactions, while still allowing us to make repairs in a timely manner,” Self adds. “Agriculture is a highly personal business though, and we want to make sure we are doing our best to continue to grow our relationships and provide a high level of service. With that, there will always be the need to go and see folks face-to-face, and we just want to make sure we are doing our due diligence to protect them and to protect ourselves.” t BY JOY CROSBY

July/August 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


he World Food Programme (WFP) plans to invest $1.75 billion a year over the next decade in school feeding programs, and the Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is working to see how peanuts might provide the protein, minerals and micronutrients those kids need to thrive. “We zeroed in on the potential for school feeding several years ago as a way to reach hungry kids, so we’d already put a lot of thought into how to go about it,” says Jeff Johnson, a retired executive with Birdsong Peanuts who serves on the External Advisory Committee for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut. In a plan called Decade of Action, WFP plans to ensure that school-aged children around the world receive adequate nutrition through school meals and snacks by 2030. Making children healthier is an important goal, but the WFP also makes the point that healthy children do better in school, maximizing the impact of billions of dollars spent on primary school education. Because peanut is nutritious, relatively inexpensive and shelf stable, the nut already is the main component in Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to help children recover from severe malnutrition and in supplementary foods to prevent malnutrition. Numerous studies show cognitive benefits to people who consume nuts; research currently under way through the Peanut Innovation Lab could directly show that eating peanuts can help children succeed in school. “We’ve been working on feeding in Africa for 15 years strictly from a humanitarian standpoint, but if the World Food Programme is going to spend $50 billion and completely change the foodaid trends in Africa, they are going to have to have a lot of product,” Johnson says. “We think peanut products are the only thing that can be done as conveniently and inexpensively and in the volume that will be required.” Birdsong Peanuts and the National Peanut Board each are investing through the Peanut Innovation Lab in a research project in Ghana to evaluate the effectiveness of a school snack developed by Washington University’s Mark Manary. Many students in Ghana, like




Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

Photo credit: Mark Manary, Washington University.


“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Peanut Innovation Lab and Birdsong Peanuts to possibly give millions of children a brighter future,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of the National Peanut Board. “Our farmers take great pride in producing a nutritious and wholesome food product. Peanuts are an ideal food for such a program because of the shelf stability, cost and familiarity with African children.” While African farmers with help from national programs and the Peanut Innovation Lab are making strides to increase yield and improve quality, they currently produce only a fraction of the demand that would be created by a sweeping plan to feed school children across Africa. “If the World Food Programme and partners are going to spend $50 billion, that’s a game-changer. This has huge implications. It’s going to take a while to get there, but there will be opportunities for U.S. growers and manufacturers,” Johnson said. He predicts that peanut-based products for African students might be made in a combination of ways – in Africa with nuts grown in Africa, in

Photo credit: Mark Manary, Washington University.

children in other low- and middle-income countries, receive sporadic school meals, but they are starchy and may not contain the best ingredients to help a hungry child grow and concentrate in class. Manary, one of the key inventors of the peanut-based therapeutic food that’s become the standard for emergency feeding, is producing and testing a peanut-based snack with students in northern Ghana to gauge the effects on physical growth and cognitive learning. He is working with Matilda SteinerAsiedu, a nutrition professor and dean of the School of Biological Science in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at the University of Ghana. The four-year project is funded with $500,000 from the Peanut Innovation Lab, $100,000 from Birdsong Peanuts and $100,000 from the National Peanut Board, a research, marketing and promotion organization supported by the 7,000 American peanut farmers. In the randomized clinical trial, 750 kids ages 6 to 9 will eat one of three school snacks: a peanut-based food, the same peanut-based food with milk included, or a snack made with a local tuber or cereal. At the end of the school year, the students will be measured for height and change in cognitive testing. All the snack formulas will include the same supplemented micronutrients. “The results will help determine whether the power of the peanut, which has been such a game changer in other food aid products, can be channeled to school age children as well,” Manary says. Feeding one meal a day and providing basic health interventions to 73 million primary school children in the world’s poorest countries would cost around $5.8 billion a year, the WFP estimates, but the return on the investment is 20 times the cost. While WFP just announced the 2030 School Feeding Strategy, the Peanut Innovation Lab many months ago began to explore the possibility of partnering with Birdsong Peanuts and the National Peanut Board to research a school snack, knowing that the project could benefit both African students and U.S. farmers. “The (National) Peanut Board has always been humanitarian-minded and forward-thinking. This seemed like a natural fit. We’ve been talking about this for quite some time,” Johnson says.

Since peanuts are nutritious, relatively inexpensive and shelf stable, the nut already is the main component in Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to help children recover from severe malnutrition and in supplementary foods to prevent malnutrition.

Africa with nuts grown in the U.S. and in the U.S. with nuts grown in the U.S. Feeding the 73 million children in need of better nutrition would require all three. t BY ALLISON FLOYD UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

July/August 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer



HARVEST GUIDEBOOK Maintain Equipment Prior to Harvest reparing for peanut harvest by checking equipment in advance can help a farmer save time and money in the


long run. Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist, recommends for farmers to be sure to check all equipment prior to the start of harvest. “Harvest is a busy time and we don’t want anyone having downtime due to things that could have been checked before this critical time when you have many early mornings and late nights,” Monfort says. Mark Mathis, Southeast agricultural sales manager for Amadas Industries, recommends inspection of all drive chains and sprockets, all belts, shaft bearings and gearboxes. Additionally, he recommends for farmers to inspect all picking and

cleaning adjustments to see that they move freely along with inspecting the cleaning fan and cleaning out any trash buildup. “In regards to combines, too many operations wait until the last minute to get their combines out from under the shelter for the new harvest season and then realize that they needed to make certain repairs from the previous harvest and get really pressed for time to do so,” Mathis says. “It is a good idea to start inspecting all harvesting equipment several weeks ahead of time in case items for repairs need to be purchased.” In addition to checking equipment in advance, farmers also face issues with replacing peanut digger blades during the harvest season. “Soil moisture plays a big role in the life of a peanut digger blade. In fields where peanut blades typically last 40-50

acres, they may need to be changed every 10-15 acres if the weather turns dry,” says Jason Morris, KMC director of engineering. “Research has shown matching conveyor speed to ground speed is critical, so be sure to check the tachometer on the digger to make sure it is in good working condition. Tachometer kits can be added to older model diggers to improve their performance.” In addition to checking equipment prior to harvest, being safe on the road during the busy harvest season is also important. “For safe transport on roads, be sure all flashing lights on the tractor and on the implement are operating correctly,” says Bennie Branch, president of Kelley Manufacturing Co. “Also, make sure the tractor to implement connection is in good condition.” t BY JOY CROSBY

Harvest Equipment Checklist Peanut Digger

Combine maintenance checklist

Pre-harvest Checklist

Pre-harvest Checklist

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

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

Harvest Season Checklist Harvest Season Checklist u Check digger blades for proper sharpness and depth. u Coulters should cut vines leaving no clumps. u 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. u Make sure drive belts are tight. u Check for proper vine inversion and inversion rod spacing.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

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

here are many factors that can result in replanting peanuts which ultimately impacts the decision on when to harvest. In 2020, farmers have been impacted considerably more by Aspergillus niger which has caused a reduction in plant stands after emergence in some areas. According to Scott Tubbs, research agronomist at the University of Georgia, there are many factors that can result in a sub-optimal plant stand. These factors include using poor quality seed, improper calibration or operation of planting equipment, unsatisfactory soil conditions, deficient adherence of seed treatment, feeding by insects, hogs, or other pests, and rapid temperature fluctuations. So, when farmers keep the original plant stand and add additional seed to the field in an adjacent row several weeks after the initial planting determining when to dig can be difficult. “Harvesting at optimum maturity is tricky in peanuts, even under normal conditions and uniform plant stands because of the indeterminate growth habit of the crop,” Tubbs says. “When a supplemental replanting occurs, this exacerbates the determination of the most optimum timing for crop termination.”



Essentially there are two crops of peanuts growing simultaneously, and digging should be timed in a way that the later planted peanuts have a chance to catch up in maturity. However, farmers do not need to wait too long and risk losing too many of the most mature pods from the initial planting from either weak pegs or sprouting on the vine. According to research by Tubbs at the University of Georgia, the timing of termination/digging should be at least an average between the maturities of the initial planted peanuts and the replanted peanuts, up through the maturity of the replanted peanuts. “If digging coincides with only the maturity of the initially planted peanuts, then the replanted peanuts will remain immature to the point that yield and grade of the entire crop will suffer,” Tubbs adds. To ensure optimum maturity between the original plant stand and replanted peanuts, growers should collect samples that represent a proportion of plants from each plant timing and utilize the hullscrape maturity profile/pod blast method to determine optimum digging timing. As an example, if 60 percent of the plants in the field are survivors of the initial planting and 40 percent are from the replant, then Tubbs recommends

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

taking about 6 original plants and 4 replanted plants that are average size for the field, for the assessment. Tubbs suggests that farmers take the entire plant to the Extension office and do not remove the pods ahead of time. This will ensure proper sampling by removal of all pods from each plant being used no partial plants or incomplete pod removals; and using an appropriate number of pods for the maturity board sample. According to Tubbs, too many or too few will bias the results “It is difficult to delay harvest activities. But in the event of a replanted field, it can pay dividends to be patient and allow the crop to remain in the ground longer than normal to give ample opportunity for maximized maturity,” Tubbs says. As long as the vegetation remains healthy, a field with replanted peanuts will often need to remain in the ground an additional 10-14 days longer than a uniformly planted crop, he adds. “The gains from the replanted plants offset the losses of a few overmature pods from the initially planted plants,” Tubbs says. t BY JOY CROSBY

Using Remote Sensing to Map In-Field Variability of Peanut Maturity eanut growers face a challenge every year as harvest season approaches – the decision for the best digging time to achieve optimum pod maturity. Pod maturity is not uniform within plants or within the field, and the decision on when to dig is generally based on methods that are subjective and do not reflect the spatial variability of maturity at the field scale. In addition, variability in soil type within a field is not unusual, which can lead to varying plant growth and pod development, which results in inconsistent pod maturity. A method using remote sensing to predict peanut maturity at the field scale as well as the variability in maturity within the field is being evaluated by University of Georgia researchers George Vellidis and Cristiane Pilon. The research has been conducted since 2018 using research plots from UGA farms and irrigated and dryland grower fields. Historical satellite images of the fields are analyzed to select blocks within grower fields with the most soil variability each year. Starting at peak flowering, a camera mounted on a UAV is used weekly to capture multispectral images of the fields. On the same days, physiological and growth measurements are collected to assess plant status and track plant development. When the plants start forming pods, plants are destructively collected and pods are classified into different maturity classes based on mesocarp color by using the Peanut Profile Board. The Peanut Maturity Index (PMI) is then calculated for each sample. Vegetation indices (VIs) are obtained after processing all multispectral images and the relationships between VIs and PMIs, plant physiology and growth are generated. The goal is to identify one or more VIs that can be used to accurately predict peanut maturity at field scale. The research will also quantify the economic advantage of differentially digging and harvesting peanut fields based on



University of Georgia Plant Physiologist Cristiane Pilon and Ph.D. student Chiara Rossi measure leaf photosynthesis and collect samples for leaf pigment content. The relationship between physiological data and peanut maturity is evaluated.

An RGB image of a grower’s irrigated field in Calhoun County in 2018. The block was divided into 33 grid cells.

premiums that might be offered for optimal maturity and quality. Finally, we will develop recommendations of how these tools can be used by peanut growers to improve overall quality and yield of their peanut crop. The research results from the past two years are very promising. The measurable outcomes of this project will be knowledge on how to utilize remotely sensed data to develop spatial maps of peanut maturity prior to digging. This knowledge will allow growers to estimate the variability of maturity of their peanut crop. t BY DR. CRISTIANE PILON & DR. GEORGE VELLIDIS UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

Vegetation index (NLI) image of a grower’s irrigated field in Calhoun County in 2018. The block was divided into 33 grid cells for assessment of peanut maturity. Red indicates more mature peanuts and blue indicate less mature peanuts.

Vegetation index (MNLI) image of a grower’s rainfed field in Berrien County in 2019. The block was divided into 12 grid cells for assessment of peanut maturity. Lighter areas indicated more mature peanuts and darker areas indicated less mature peanuts.

Determining Optimum Peanut Maturity etermining when to harvest is one of the most important decisions growers make each year. The peanut maturity impacts yield, flavor, grade and shelf life. Research has shown that peanuts harvested too early or too late can have reduced yield by 500 to 700 pounds per acre. “There are numerous factors that affect when to harvest individual fields,” says Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist. “Farmers can plant the same variety on the same day in different fields and the peanuts may still mature at a different rate due to soil type differences, climate and weather differences and pest problem differences. Checking each field individually is also important since the peanuts may not mature in the order in which they were planted.” One of the best ways to determine crop maturity is through the hull-scrape method or pod blasting and using the peanut profile board. The hull scrape method is based on color changes in the middle layer of the peanut hull as the nut matures. In essence, the hull scrape method


relies on taking a random representative sample of peanuts from a field, then scraping off the outer layer of the peanut hulls. The inner hulls will show a range of colors, from white to black. The darker the color, the more mature the crop. Hulls that are white or yellow are immature. Those that are orange to brown are close to maturity. The dark brown hulls are mature and the black hulls are either mature or a bit over-mature. Once the outer layer is removed an inner hull color is exposed, the peanuts are arranged on the maturity profile board by color to determine the optimum digging date. Farmers also have to weigh out their options on when to harvest due to several

factors including the number of acres to be harvested, equipment availability and capacity, labor availability and impending weather conditions. Brendan Zurweller, peanut agronomist at Mississippi State University, suggests for farmers to approximate the minimum number of days it’s going to take to pick all the peanut acreage based on their harvest capacity and how spread out the plant dates are. “I think this really helps to be practical about how early one needs to begin digging and how many acres they should dig at one time,” he says. t


Peanut Hull Color Groups & Characteristics Major color


Development period (days)


Soft, watery, poorly defined kernel, between the size of a match head and a full size pod



Spongy texture, pod is full size, kernel is somewhat defined


Dark Yellow

Coarser pod texture then yellow, well-defined kernel



Pink seed coat developing



Rough pod texture, dark pink seed coat



Completely developed kernel, extremely rough pod texture


KMC Releases New 74 Series Combine armers will have a new option this fall with the new Kelley Manufacturing Co. 74 Series Peanut Combine. The 6-row combine was developed largely through farmer input. KMC introduced the combine last fall during the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia, and provided it has an option to winners of the Grand Door Prize at several peanut farm shows in 2020. The 74 series combine is available as a 6-row or 8-row (30” row) option with the unload on the go option too. The combine features several key changes including: • Hydraulic separator fan direct drive option (No belts). • New cam shaft design instead of eccentrics (Driven on one side, 2 3/16” shafts with no center support bearings). • Reduced loads on push arms by splitting the shaker drive and



stemmer/screens into two separate systems. Also new shaker pan is over 20 percent lighter weight. • No rocker shaft/rocker bearings. • Hex rollers added to cleaning section. • #1 concave swings open with quick release latches.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

• Concaves are supported from side frame with adjustable bolt on bushings instead of rod across entire machine connecting two concaves together. For additional information on the new combine, visit www.kelleymfg.com or call 229-382-9393. t

USDA NASS Releases Planting Acreage Report he USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has released it’s June 30, 2020, Acreage Report. For peanuts, the U.S. 2020 planting estimate is 1,514,000 acres. Following up to the Prospective Plantings report released in late spring, NASS surveyed nearly 71,000 farm operators during the first two weeks of June to gather information on what farmers actually planted. Georgia continues to lead planted acreage at 710,000 acres followed by Texas at 180,000 acres and Alabama and Florida at 170,000 acres. Total planted acreage for the Southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi) area is 1,075,000 acres, Southwest (Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma) area is 197,000 acres and the Virginia Carolina area at 207,000 acres. In other crops, NASS estimated 92.0 million acres of corn planted in the United States for 2020, up 3% from last year. Soybean area planted is estimated at 83.8 million acres, up 10% from last year. Cotton acreage planted for 2020 is estimated at 12.2 million acres, 11 percent below last year. Wheat acreage is estimated at 44.3 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. This represents the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. t

Peanut Area Planted - States and United States:  2018-2020


Area Planted State

2018 Final

2019 Final

2020 June

(1,000 acres)

(1,000 acres)

(1,000 acres)





















New Mexico




North Carolina








South Carolina













Texas Virginia United States

Source: 2018-19 - USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Production Summary, Jan. 2020. 2020 - USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service June 30, 2020 Acreage Planting Report.

National Peanut Board Launches Production Research Database he National Peanut Board has funded production research projects to increase efficiencies for farmers since 2001, totaling more than 1,600 projects and $37 million. Now, NPB is taking its commitment to research one step further with the launch of the new Production Research Database, at nationalpeanutboard.org/more/productionresearch-database. NPB is giving unprecedented access to research projects involving the Board’s funds. Within the database, growers and industry members can learn more about research on a specific topic—from breeding and genomics to pest and disease control—region, year and investigator. “The Production Research Database is a fantastic resource for growers, extension agents and researchers,” said Dan Ward, National Peanut Board N.C. board member, former chairman and research committee chair. “For growers, it is not only a clear way to see where research dollars are going, it’s also easy to



PeanutResearch.org use and access from the field. For researchers, it helps avoid duplication of efforts and shows opportunities for collaboration.” Production research is a core part of NPB’s mission to improve the economic condition of America's peanut farmers and their families. Over the last 20 years, the National Peanut Board has invested more than $37 million in production research. This total includes leverage of just $871,500 from NPB and other industry partners to receive matching funds from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which has yielded over $2.5 million for peanut production

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

research. NPB supports research primarily through proposals from peanut-producing states' certified peanut producer organization. From improving disease resistance and drought tolerance to developing high oleic varieties and mapping the peanut genome, NPB-funded research is making peanut farmers more sustainable and more profitable. NPB’s online home for production research stories and news is PeanutResearch.org. t BY LAUREN HIGHFILL WILLIAMS NATIONAL PEANUT BOARD

Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day set for July 23 he 2020 Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day is scheduled for July 23, 2020. Farmers are invited to attend in order to learn practical information from the region’s top agricultural scientists about the newest technologies farmers can use to improve their operations. While Field Day will have a different feel this year, the Sunbelt team looks forward to welcoming farmers and professionals in the ag industry to a Driving Tour of the Darrell Williams Research Farm. Visitors will enjoy Field Day from the comfort of their own vehicle as they learn from university researchers and vendors. The half-day event will take place at the 600-acre Darrell Williams Research Farm, located at the Expo show site at Spence Field in Moultrie, Georgia. Registration is free for anyone who works in agriculture. Visitors should arrive thru Gate 2 anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. to begin the tour. Directional signs will direct those in attendance to a red tent where they will register, receive a welcome bag including snacks, register for CCA credits and begin the tour. Attendees will never have to step out of their vehicle for this process. Once registered, visitors will then drive-thru the tour path while viewing pre-recorded segments featuring university researchers and company vendors. In addition,


Visitors at Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day on July 23 will be able to see crop demonstrations and examine research trials by the University of Georgia Peanut Team and company vendors.

farmers can choose to pull aside at stops that particularly spark their interest to further investigate plots and visit one-onone with the researchers. “We have the unique ability to work with university and corporate researchers on our Darrell Williams Research Farm, where we continue to conduct cotton, peanut, corn, soybean and forage research — all aimed at improving the farmer’s bottom line. We look at the latest seed varieties, crop protection methods, soil fertility, irrigation and precision ag technology,” says Chip Blalock, Sunbelt Ag Expo executive director. “This year,

we will present the research being conducted in a different format. We are encouraged that those individuals and companies conducting that research are working with us to overcome the challenges that have been presented.” For those unable to attend Field Day, videos from the event will be available online at sunbeltagexpo.com. The Sunbelt Ag Expo is located southeast of Moultrie, Georgia, on Georgia Highway 133. For additional information on the field day, visit sunbeltexpo.com or call 229-985-1968. t

2020 Georgia Peanut Tour Canceled or the first time in the history of the Georgia Peanut Tour, the annual event which brings hundreds of international and guests from multiple states, has been canceled. The tour is held annually in September and has been a way to provide the latest information on peanuts at harvest. The annual tour also provides a first-hand view of industry infrastructure from production and handling to processing and utilization. In a letter addressed to former and prospective tour attendees, Tim Brenneman, 2020 tour chariman, said the following.



“We hope you are all well in spite of the challenges we all are facing. It has been a difficult year in many regards. This includes trying to plan a tour for a large group of people to travel together, eat together, visit numerous facilities, etc., all while maintaining strict social distancing and safety precautions. “We love hosting the Georgia Peanut Tour, and were determined to try and make it happen. However, as planning progressed, it became apparent that the prudent option would be to cancel the 2020 Georgia Peanut Tour. This was not an easy decision, but I am confident it was the right decision. “At this point we will table our plans

Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

to go to Southwest Georgia, and hopefully will be there in September of 2021. In the meantime, we will work hard to still produce a great crop of high-quality Georgia peanuts, and we look forward to you joining us next year!” The Georgia Peanut Commission, University of Georgia-Tifton Campus and Griffin Campus, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Peanut Research Lab coordinate the tour. Visit georgiapeanuttour.com to take a stroll down memory lane of past tours. t

Washington Outlook by Robert L. Redding Jr.

House Leadership Introduces Fourth COVID-19 Stimulus Package

President Trump Signs Paycheck Program Flexibility Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, what is now being touted as the fifth COVID-19 stimulus package by a vote of 208-199 largely along party lines. Previous COVID-19 economic stimulus legislation signed by the President included: • Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act - March 6. • Families First Coronavirus Response Act - March 18; • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act - March 27 • Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act - April 24

A number of farmers and agribusinesses have participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established in the third COVID-19 stimulus legislation or CARES Act. Congress has moved forward with additional reforms for the PPP program through the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. Key provisions: • Extends the forgiveness period to 24 weeks. • Replaces the 75/25 rule with at 60/40 rule. • Allows all new PPP loans to receive a 5-year maturity. Existing loans will remain at a 2-year maturity. • Allows businesses that receive forgiveness to also receive payroll tax deferment. • Ensures small businesses won’t be penalized by high unemployment benefits. • Creates a safe harbor for businesses that are required to open at only 50 percent capacity. The House and Senate Small Business Committees have held numerous hearings on the PPP and other USDA COVID19 stimulus related programs. At a June 10 Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee hearing, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza testifying, the discussion included comments about the needs for additional economic stimulus assistance. Separately, there are coalitions in Washington seeking long-term capital economic assistance for businesses. Ahead of the fifth stimulus consideration in the Senate, Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is discussing moving an additional PPP reform bill. The Senate has not scheduled this legislation to date.

The HEROES Act bill expands upon current farm payment programs and provides for increased nutritional assistance. As reported last month, upon introduction, the following agricultural provisions are part of the legislation: • Expanded direct payment provisions for price losses due to the virus • Specialty crop block grants to state departments of agriculture • $50 million to support local farmers • $50 million for beginning farmers and ranchers • Assistance for food processing facilities • $20 million for mental health programs for farmers • Additional broadband funding • Additional $10 billion in SNAP funding • Additional $1.1 billion for Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition funding • Includes $150 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) • $3 billion for Child Nutrition Programs. The U.S. Senate is discussing their fifth COVID-19 economic stimulus legislation. It is not anticipated that the Senate will consider the HEROES Act but possibly use some of the House provisions as part of their package. The Senate will likely move their bill prior to leaving town for the August break.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer July/August 2020

Congressional Committee Update House and Senate committees continue to meet with varying formats, including virtual hearings, limited member in-person attendance in committee rooms (speakers only) and special social distance spacing in the committee rooms. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have been meeting and the House Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee will mark-up their Fiscal Year 2021 legislation in early July. The U.S. Peanut Federation has requested peanut aflatoxin research funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

USTR Robert Lighthizer Testifies before Congress U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the President’s 2020 trade policy agenda. Ambassador Lighthizer’s opening remarks before the Ways and Means Committee follow: “We’ve been going through two crises. These are indeed challenging times. I thought of many of you often during these crises. I’m confident that if we work together in good faith, as we have in the past, we will get through these problems, heal and move forward. Hopefully, things will be even better than they were before. In some ways these problems make talking about international trade seem less important. But in other ways perhaps rebuilding our economy, helping to create good paying jobs for all Americans, securing fairness for our businesses and bringing back manufacturing can be part of the solution to bringing us all together as one great country again. “We have been isolated and quarantined so long that I fear we might forget the great achievement of the last few months. Together Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, worked closely with the Administration to write and pass the biggest – and I would say best – trade agreement in American history, USMCA. We should not forget how important that was for our country and for our workers and businesses and ranchers and farmers. I’d like to again thank all of you for working with me on that. Together we had an historic accomplishment. “I would also like to thank you for your support and help as we worked our way through the China Phase One Agreement – the Congress had an important role in that – a very important US-Japan Agreement, and numerous smaller trade achievements during the last year. Together I think we have helped our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses. “Going forward there is much to achieve. As we all know, we have active negotiations ongoing with the United Kingdom. We will very soon commence negotiations with Kenya. Finally, we have active engagements on trade with numerous other countries and, of course, I look forward to working with Members on the crucial issue of the WTO. “Thank you to all Members for working so closely with me, for making time to talk to me and to meet with me, for having your staffs work so closely with USTR, and for making our end product consistently better than it would have been without your involvement.”

Farm Service Agency County Committee Nominations USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting nominations for county committee members on June 15, 2020. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2020 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2020. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program, and reside in the LAA that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others, and organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates. Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The committees are made of three to 11 members and typically meet once a month. Members serve threeyear terms. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency. Producers should contact their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. Check with your local USDA service center to see if your LAA is up for election this year. To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at fsa.usda.gov/elections. Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 2, 2020.

USDA Issues First Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Payments U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received over 86,000 applications for this important relief program. “The coronavirus has hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, and these payments directed by President Trump will help this critical industry weather the current pandemic so they can continue to plant and harvest a safe, nutritious, and affordable crop for the American people,” says Secretary Perdue. “We have tools and resources available to help producers understand the program and enable them to work with Farm Service Agency staff to complete applications as smoothly and efficiently as possible and get payments into the pockets of our patriotic farmers.” FSA will accept applications through August 28, 2020. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities. New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center. Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus. July/August 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Southern Peanut Growers FCCLA Virtual National Leadership Conference

Milwaukee Restaurant Hosts Inaugural PB&J Sandwich Eating Contest

With the uncertainty surrounding travel and in-person meetings due to COVID-19, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) decided to do its first virtual national leadership conference July 7 - 9, 2020, to kick off their 75th year. FCCLA boasts more than 175,000 members in 5,300 chapters across the United States. In addition to speakers and competitions, this year’s format includes a virtual exhibit hall with 98 exhibitors and 38 colleges and universities. Southern Peanut Growers uploaded a video about America’s peanut farmers and content in the areas of sustainability, foodservice, nutrition, and consumer recipes. There are open exhibit hours when SPG and Georgia Peanut Commission representatives will be available to live chat with attendees. All exhibit materials will be available through September 11, 2020, for attendees to download and reference.

Milwaukee’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli, hailed as the ‘world’s largest peanut butter and jelly shop’ since 2017 will host their first annual PB&J sandwich eating contest on Aug. 15, 2020, with cash prizes of up to $250. Specializing in gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the restaurant makes their own peanut butters in the shop daily and sources jelly from local farms. Customers can build their own sandwich or select from specialty sandwiches like Crunch & Punch (crunchy peanut butter with raspberry jalapeno jam), The King (grilled peanut butter, banana, honey and bacon), or Peanut Butter Oreo (dark chocolate peanut butter with crumbled Oreo cookies and marshmallow cream ‘fused together on the grill’). The deli also offers an African Peanut Soup which comes highly recommended!

Individual Portions are a Timely Dessert Option As states begin the process of reopening and families and friends begin to gather again, individually portioned foods are recommended over communal food bowls to reduce the number of touchpoints during the gathering. This new dessert recipe for Nutter Butter Banana Pudding, is not only timely, it’s the perfect portion control and just plain cute!

Nutter Butter Banana Pudding Ingredients: 1 5.1-oz box instant vanilla pudding mix 3 cups cold milk 1 16-oz package Nutter Butter cookies, divided 12 quarter pint canning jars 2-3 bananas frozen whipped topping, thawed Directions: Measure milk in a large measuring cup. Pour in pudding mix and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside to allow to soft set (about 5 minutes). Cut or break 6 Nutter Butter Cookies in half and set aside. Pour the remainder of the package into a gallon size bag, seal it, and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies. Spoon a layer of cookie crumbs into the bottom of each jar. Top with a layer of vanilla pudding. Cut a banana in half length-wise and slice. Put a layer of bananas on top of the pudding. Top the bananas with another layer of pudding. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, top with whipped topping. A sprinkle of crushed Nutter Butters and half of a Nutter Butter Cookie. Note: 12 quarter pint canning jars fit into a disposable foil lasagna pan with a clear lid which makes them easy to refrigerate and transport.

Southern Peanut Growers 1025 Sugar Pike Way · Canton, Georgia 30115

Phone: (770) 751-6615

email: lpwagner@comcast.net

Visit our website at www.peanutbutterlovers.com

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July - August 2020 - Southeastern Peanut Farmer  

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