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Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for July n Peanut genome sequences released  n 2014 Irrigation Guidebook A communication service of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

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Contents May/June 2014


Joy Carter Crosby Editor 229-386-3690

The 16th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference is set for July 2426, 2014, in Florida. The three-day event provides farmers the opportunity to learn more about the industry and issues affecting them on the farm.

Contributing Writers John Leidner Teresa Mays Jessie Turk


Southeastern Peanut Farmer P.O. Box 706, Tifton, Ga. 31793 445 Fulwood Blvd., Tifton, Ga. 31794 ISSN: 0038-3694

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 229-386-3690.

13 Photo by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia.

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.

Peanut genome sequences released The new peanut genome sequence will be available to researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive and more resilient peanut varieties.

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 229-3863690.) 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.

Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for July

2014 Irrigation Guidebook This issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer guides farmers with tips for maximizing efficiency and yield through the use of variable rate irrigation, subsurface drip, moisture sensors, adjusted growing degree model, Irrigator Pro and more.

Departments: Checkoff Report .................................................................................. 8 Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

Washington Outlook ............................................................................ 20 Southern Peanut Growers Update ........................................................ 22 Cover Photo: Center pivot irrigation at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga. Many tools today allow farmers the ability to schedule irrigation in order to maximize efficiency and yield of their peanuts. Photo by John Leidner.

May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Guest Editorial

Calendar of Events

Passage of the Farm Bill he passage of a farm bill is never easy, and this bill was more difficult than most. Still, we got a bill and to the benefit of the whole, it is a really good bill. That is the best we can hope to achieve with any farm bill. Essentially every farm is treated alike, but different at the same time. This is the nature of base lines and historic bases, which are all a key to managing cost. This farm bill is not any different than past farm bills. In 2002, all producers did not have the same amount of quota on which they were paid. At the same time, when bases were established, every producer had a different history and different farm situation on which to establish his base. Some farmers purchased base from others because the historical producer did not have land on which to assign base. Not only did these base purchase transactions happen at the onset of the 2002 farm bill, farm bases have been bought and sold with the land for decades. Part of the value of farmland when it was sold and bought was the value of the farm bases assigned to the land. Buying land with base meant buying base as a piece of property. In other situations, farmers had farmed for years, often at low prices, while assuming all the risk just to build bases. Fortunately, during this farm bill debate, it was recognized that cotton base on land was part of the property, which had been purchased at a cost of many producers and others who had farmed for years building up farm bases. When the cotton program was changed to a non-base program, had it not been for converting cotton base to generic base, farmers with cotton base would have seen a decline in net worth based on the loss of some portion of their farm base. There was no money to buy-out cotton base like the peanut quota was bought in 2002. While some farmers benefit more than others from the establishment of generic base, at the same time, they have invested more to have that base. Taking cotton base away without compensation would have been somewhat of a socialist action. I once heard of a Russian farmer who told his leader he was concerned his neighbor had a goat and he had none. When asked what his solution would be to the problem, he suggested they kill his neighbor’s goat. We live in a society which rewards us for hard work and making smart investments. We would never condone pushing a man’s farm shop or his grain bins in a pile because we didn’t have those facilities on our farm. I hope we would certainly all stand firm if our government chose to do so. Also important, farmers are allowed to reallocate all farm bases beyond the generic bases to better recognize changes in cultural practices. This allows the farmer to make bases better fit his current farming mix. Congress delivered on a farm bill which is better than the previous bill, and which moves peanut producers as a whole forward. I trust this bill will be given the chance to operate as it was intended by Congress. That only makes sense. t


u USA Peanut Congress, June 19-23, 2014, Omni Nashville Hotel, Nashville, Tenn. For more information call 703-838-9500 or visit u American Peanut Research and Education Society Annual Meeting, July 8-10, 2014, Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas. For more information visit u Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day, July 10, 2014, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit u Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 24-26, 2014, Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, Fla. For more information visit u American Peanut Shellers Association Pre-Harvest Meeting, Aug. 5-6, 2014, Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club, Cordele, Ga. For more information, call 229-888-2508 or visit u Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center Field Day, Aug. 13, 2014, Midville, Ga. For more information call 478-589-7472. u Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center Field Day, Aug. 20, 2014, Plains, Ga. For more information call 229-824-4375. u Georgia Peanut Tour, Sept. 16-18, 2014, For more information visit the tour blog at u Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day, Oct. 14-16, 2014, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit u National Peanut Festival, Oct. 31-Nov. 9, 2014, Dothan, Ala. For more information visit u Georgia Farm Bureau, Dec. 7-9, 2014, Jekyll Island, Ga. For more information visit u American Peanut Council Winter Conference, Dec. 10-13, 2014, Washington Marriott Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Armond Morris Chairman Georgia Peanut Commission


Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

(Let us know about your event. Please send details to the editor, using the following e-mail address:

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Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for July 24-26 he 16th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference is set for July 24-26, 2014, at Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, Florida. The three-day event provides farmers an opportunity to learn more about the industry and issues affecting them while also enjoying a relaxing time at the beach. This year’s conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about legislative issues, market growth and production issues.


In addition to the conference sessions, the event focuses on the family by offering a ladies program and a golf tournament. Conference registration information is available online at or farmers can contact their state grower organization for a registration form. Deadline to register is June 30, 2014. Hotel registration must be made separately with Edgewater Beach Resort by calling 1-800-8748686. When reserving rooms, be sure to ask for the Southern Peanut Growers Conference rate. t

2014 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Tentative Schedule Thursday, July 24 1:00 - 7:30 p.m. 3:00 - 6:30 p.m. 1:00 - 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 - 10:00 p.m. Friday, July 25 6:45 a.m. 7:00 a.m. 8:15 a.m.

9:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m.

Noon 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 26 6:45 a.m. 7:00 a.m. 8:45 a.m.

Noon 12:30 - 6 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Conference Registration, Edgewater Conference Ctr. Room Registration, Edgewater Conference Ctr. Conference Hospitality, Edgewater Conference Ctr. Welcoming Reception, Sago Palm Ballroom Welcoming Dinner, Grand Palm Ballroom

Registration Opens Prayer Breakfast, Grand Palm A & B Presentation of the Valor Award General Session I - Peanut Markets Longterm Topics include: By the Numbers, Exports and China Spouse Program, Sago Palm 2 & 3 Refreshment Break General Session II - Causing Demand to Catch up with Research Luncheon, Grand Palm A & B General Session III - Production Issues Topics include: Weather & Climate, Rotation and the Direction of Research Evening on Your Own in Panama City Beach! Registration Open Breakfast, Grand Palm A & B Presentation of the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards General Session IV - Sustaining Farm Policy Topics include: Congressional Update and The New Peanut Program Refreshment Break Lunch on your own and afternoon free! Golf Tournament, Hombre Golf Course Reception, Sago Palm Ballroom Dinner and Entertainment, Grand Palm Ballroom Featuring Rocky & the Rollers May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Peanut industry donates peanuts and peanut butter to tornado victims eanut Proud has assisted families in need again after the recent tornadoes that swept through the Southeast. The peanut industry’s humanitarian organization has loaded a total of 59,040 jars of peanut butter recently to send to families affected by the tornado disasters in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. The first donation contained 28,800 jars of peanut butter headed to the food bank in Little Rock, Arkansas. Donations were made by Kroger, American Blanching, as well as Peanut Proud. Peanut Proud president, Gregg Grimsley says he is grateful for the industry’s support. “I want to thank everyone in the peanut industry for the great support given to this effort and Peanut Proud,” Grimsley says. “It’s very gratifying to see the amount of support from the people who work in the industry.” The Georgia Peanut Commission also donated approximately 7,500 packs of roasted Georgia peanuts in the first shipment heading to Arkansas. GPC chairman, Armond Morris says GPC was happy to assist in the donation. “On behalf of the peanut farmers in the state of Georgia, we are glad to take part in the donation to help families affected by the tornado disasters,” Morris says. “Peanuts and peanut butter are a great food source during a situation such as this; refrigeration and cooking are not required and it provides a life-sustaining nutritional benefit.” The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Alabama Peanut Producers Association assisted Peanut


Peanut Proud representatives and Georgia Peanut Commission chairman Armond Morris (left) were on-hand to assist with the first shipment of peanut butter to Arkansas. The peanut industry donated nearly 60,000 jars of peanut butter to families in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama following the recent tornadoes in April.

Proud with the second shipment containing 30,240 jars of peanut butter. The peanut butter included donations from Peanut Proud, Kroger and San Filippo. The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association was also proud to assist with the effort by donating $1,500 to the cause. Malcolm Broome, MPGA executive director, worked with Peanut Proud to coordinate delivery efforts in Pearl, Mississippi. Teresa Mays, information specialist with APPA, assisted with the delivery efforts to food banks in Birmingham, Huntsville and Northport, Alabama. Through the National Peanut Board, America’s peanut farmers unanimously

Nominations open for Peanut Leadership Academy Nominations are now open for the Peanut Leadership Academy which provides leadership training for young farmers and sheller representatives throughout the peanut industry. The academy is coordinated by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. Through the training, participants gain valuable leadership skills, communication skills, knowledge of the peanut industry and insight into many different types of issues the peanut industry faces. The two program includes leadership sessions in the Southeast, West Texas and Washington, D.C. Growers interested in applying for Class IX of the Peanut Leadership Academy should contact their state grower organization or download an application online at The applications are due by Sept. 1, 2014.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

voted to donate $10,000 to the industry’s humanitarian arm Peanut Proud to assist with the relief efforts. The donation covers the cost of about 10,000 jars of peanut butter. “Our hearts go out to the families affected by the tornadoes,” says NPB chairman and Georgia delegate John Harrell. “We’re humbled to make this donation to Peanut Proud on behalf of America’s peanut farmers to help in the relief efforts.” Peanut butter is ideal for food banks and aid groups because it contains eight grams of protein along with more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients and it doesn’t require refrigeration. The peanut butter has been delivered to each location through the generous support of Southern Ag Carriers. Peanut Proud is the humanitarian relief organization of the U.S. peanut industry. Individuals wanting to make a donation to Peanut Proud for humanitarian efforts may do so online at the organization’s website, or send their check made payable to “Peanut Proud” and mail to P.O. Box 446, Blakely, Georgia, 39823. t


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

Florida Peanut Producers attends Florida School Nutrition Conference The Florida Peanut Producers Association attended and exhibited at the 64th Annual Florida School Nutrition Association Conference recently held at the Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. Approximately 1,100 school nutrition personnel from across the state attended the conference. The attendees included Ken Barton, Florida Peanut Producers school food service directors, man- Association executive director, discusses agers, dieticians and cafeteria staff. peanut product usage with attendees during the Florida School Nutrition Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Bridge the Gap.” across the state,” says Ken Barton, Sessions were designed to help build FPPA executive director. “By using stronger relationships with the information collected at the industry partners and to provide the conference we can focus on those continuing education to help school schools and school districts that are food service personnel provide not currently using peanut butter and Florida’s students with healthy, nutriother peanut products in their tious meals. breakfast and lunch menus and “Attending the Florida School provide them with the health and Nutrition Association Conference nutritional information and planning allows us the opportunity to collect guides to help get peanut products on useful data to determine peanut their menu.” product usage in school districts

March of Dimes Peanut teams promote healthy babies in Alabama Members of two 2014 March of Dimes Peanut Teams for Mobile County and the Dothan-Houston County area, joined hundreds recently by participating in the March of Dimes’ annual March for Babies events held April 26, 2014. The events were held at the Geri Moulton Children’s Park in Mobile and at Westgate Park in Dothan, Alabama. This marks the fifth consecutive year the Alabama Peanut Producers Association has sponsored the Kids Activities tent at both of these events. Children of all ages and their parents visited the peanut tent to make arts and crafts, sample peanuts and get information on the health benefits of peanuts. Such walks are held across the U.S. to help raise money so the March of Dimes can fund research and help prevent prematurity and birth defects. Representatives from the APPA, Alfa Women’s Committee and the National Peanut Festival made up the peanut teams for this year’s events.

Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and Southern Peanut Growers exhibits at Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietectics Conference The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association along with the Southern Peanut Growers had an exhibit booth at the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition on April 10, 2014, in Biloxi, Mississippi. The meeting attracted approximately 200 participants from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama in all areas of practice, including longterm care, hospital setting, academics, food service, and culinary arts. During the event, representatives were able to tell the story of the nutrition benefits of peanuts to the attendees as


they visited the booth and provide attendees with literature on heart health, diabetes, diabesity, recipes and even a sample bag of peanuts. Malcolm Broome, MPGA executive director and Leslie Wagner, SPG executive director, worked the booth. Wagner was sponsored by MPGA as the presenter for a one-hour breakout session on the good nutrition of peanuts and peanut butter. Several of the attendees picked up the recipes that were available at the booth and many were not aware of peanuts being heart healthy and an ideal food for diabetics.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

Malcolm Broome, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association executive director, and Leslie Wagner, Southern Peanut Growers executive director, present nutritional information during the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Food and Nutrition Conference held April 10, 2014.

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

Georgia Peanut Commission sponsors Georgia FFA The Georgia Peanut Commission and the Peanut Institute teamed up to sponsor the Georgia FFA Star in Agriscience Award during the state convention held in Macon, Ga. The State Star in Agriscience award was presented to Callie Donald Chase congratulates the Star in Warren of Lowndes winners for Georgia FFA. Pictured County. The state finalists Agriscience left to right, Chase; Callie Warren, State winner were Quinten Brown of from Lowndes County; Quinten Brown, Central LaGrange FFA Chapter Region winner from LaGrange and Haley Thorne, North Region winner from Oglethorpe and Haley Thorne of County. Oglethorpe County FFA Chapter. Alumni photo booth during the The Georgia Peanut career show. Each member Commission also exhibited received a 4x6 print with the during the career show and Georgia Peanuts logo displayed sponsored the Georgia FFA on the photo.

Georgia Peanut Commission sponsors recipe contest at Georgia School Nutrition Conference

The Georgia Peanut Commission attended the Georgia School Nutrition Association annual conference held April 10-12 in Jekyll Island, Georgia. During the GSNA meeting, approxiRodney Dawson, Georgia Peanut mately 800-1,200 Commission board member, congratulates school nutrition the Georgia School Nutrition Association Peanut Recipe winners during the awards personnel from throughout the state dinner. Pictured left to right are Ann Hamner, Britt Elementary; Jane Raburn, of Georgia attended Carrollton Middle; Jennifer Scott, Perry educational semiPrimary School and Dawson. nars, visited with food industry representatives and received recognition for outstanding performance at their respective schools. During the meeting, GPC recognized winners of the GSNA recipe contest. This award was given to GSNA members who develop new Bay Area Food Bank receives peanut butter donation peanut and peanut butter quantity recipes to Thousands of for growing children be used in schools for breakfast and lunch. needy families will be and for families on a “We are excited to present the peanut receiving peanut budget trying to recipe awards to members of the Georgia butter thanks to a provide healthy food School Nutrition Association who are large donation from choices.” developing new recipes using peanuts and Peanut Proud and the “Peanut butter is peanut butter,” Dawson says. “We applaud Alabama Peanut very nutritious and is all GSNA members for striving to promote Producers Association packed with pronumerous health benefits by incorporating to the Bay Area Food tein,” says Carl peanuts and peanut butter in their nutritionOn hand for the peanut butter delivery to Bank in Mobile, Sanders, president of al programs.” the Bay Area Food Bank in Mobile, Ala. Alabama. The seven were left to right, Mark Kaiser, APPA board the Alabama Peanut In the breakfast category, Jane Raburn pallets of peanut Producers member from Baldwin County, Dave from Carrollton Middle won first place for Reaney, executive director of the Bay Area Association. “So it’s butter, 10,080 jars, her “Breakfast Bites: Peanut Oatmeal” were delivered to the Food Bank, Debbie Freeland, Alabama no surprise that peorecipe, second place went to Ann Hamner Farmers Federation, and Joel Sirmon, food bank, courtesy from Britt Elementary and third place went APPA board member from Baldwin County. ple in need of food, of Southern Ag from facilities as our to Marie May with Lowndes High. In the Carriers on Thursday, April 24, 2014. state’s food banks, have peanut butter at lunch category, first place was awarded to “We’re very glad to receive this the top of their list.” Ann Hamner from Britt Elementary for her donation of peanut butter as it’s always The peanut butter donated to the “Chicken and Pasta in Peanut Sauce” one of our most needed items at the food food bank will be distributed to help recipe, second place went to Jennifer Scott bank,” says Dave Reaney, executive those in need across the state, including from Perry Primary and third place went to director of Bay Area Food Bank. “Its Mobile County and Baldwin County, Jane Raburn from Carrollton Middle. nutritious value makes it a great staple Alabama. May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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The International Peanut Genome Initiative releases first peanut genome sequences he International Peanut families and build more secure Genetics and Genomics. Genome Initiative — a livelihoods,” said plant geneticist Rajeev “Until now, we’ve bred peanuts relamultinational group of crop Varshney of the International Crops tively blindly, as compared to other geneticists who have been Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics crops,” says IPGI plant geneticist David working in tandem for the last several in India, who serves on the IPGI. Bertioli of the Universidade de Brasília. years — has successfully sequenced the The effort to sequence the peanut “We’ve had less information to work with peanut’s genome. genome has been underway for several than we do with many crops, which have Scott Jackson, director of the years. While peanuts were successfully been more thoroughly researched and University of Georgia Center for understood.” Applied Genetic Technologies in The peanut in fields today is the the College of Agricultural and result of a natural cross between two Environmental Sciences, serves as wild species, Arachis duranensis and chair of the International Peanut Arachis ipaensis, which occurred in Genome Initiative, or IPGI. north Argentina between 4,000 and The new peanut genome 6,000 years ago. Because its ancestors sequence will be available to were two different species, today’s researchers and plant breeders peanut is a polyploid, meaning the across the globe to aid in the species can carry two separate breeding of more productive and genomes, designated A and B more resilient peanut varieties. subgenomes. Peanut, known scientifically as To map the peanut’s structure, Arachis hypogaea and also called researchers sequenced the genomes of groundnut, is important both comthe two ancestral parents because mercially and nutritionally. While together they represent cultivated the oil- and protein-rich legume is peanut. The sequences provide seen as a cash crop in the develresearchers access to 96 percent of all oped world, it remains a valuable peanut genes in their genomic context, sustenance crop in developing providing the molecular map needed to nations. more quickly breed drought- and “The peanut crop is important disease-resistant, lower-input and in the United States, but it’s very higher-yielding varieties of peanut. important for developing nations as The two ancestor wild species had well,” Jackson says. “In many been collected in nature, conserved in peanut geneticist Peggy Ozias-Akins, director of the areas, it is a primary calorie source UGA germplasm banks and then used by the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, for families and a cash crop for IPGI to better understand the peanut examines a peanut blossom. Ozias-Akin's lab on the Tifton campus focuses on female reproduction and gene transfer in genome. The genomes of the two farmers.” plants. Globally, farmers tend about ancestor species provide excellent 24 million hectares of peanut each models for the genome of the year and produce about 40 million metric bred for intensive cultivation for cultivated peanut. A. duranenis serves as a tons. thousands of years, relatively little was model for the A subgenome of the “Improving peanut varieties to be known about the legume’s genetic cultivated peanut while A. ipaensis more drought-, insect- and disease-resiststructure because of its complexity, represents the B subgenome. ant can help farmers in developed nations according to Peggy Ozias-Akins, a plant Knowing the genome sequences of produce more peanuts with fewer geneticist on the UGA Tifton campus who the two parent species will allow pesticides and other chemicals and help also works with the IPGI and is director researchers to recognize the cultivated farmers in developing nations feed their of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, peanut’s genomic structure by differentiat-



Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

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While they are a major economic ing between the two subgenomes driver for the U.S. economy, the present in the plants. Being able to see legume is also crucial to the diets and the two separate structural elements livelihoods of millions of small farmalso will aid future gene marker ers in Asia and Africa, many of whom development — the determination of are women. links between a gene’s presence and a Apart from being a rich source of physical characteristic of the plant. oil (44 percent to 55 percent), protein Understanding the structure of the (20 percent to 50 percent) and peanut’s genome will lay the groundcarbohydrates (10 percent to 20 work for new varieties with traits like percent), peanut seeds are an important added disease resistance and drought nutritional source of niacin, folate, tolerance. calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, In addition, these genome zinc, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and sequences will serve as a guide for the The new peanut genome sequence will be available to vitamin E. assembly of the cultivated peanut researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive and more resilient peanut “While the sequencing of the genome that will help to decipher varieties. peanut can be seen as a great leap forgenomic changes that led to peanut ward in plant genetics and genomics, it domestication, which was marked by California. The project was made possible also has the potential to be a large step increases in seed number and size. The by funding provided by the peanut indusforward for stabilizing agriculture in genome sequence assemblies and try through the Peanut Foundation, by developing countries,” says Dave additional information are available at MARS Inc., and three Chinese Academies Hoisington, program director for the U.S. (Henan Academy of Agricultural Agency for International Development The International Peanut Genome Sciences, Chinese Academy of Feed the Future Peanut and Mycotoxin Initiative brings together scientists from Innovation Lab, which is hosted at UGA. the United States, China, Brazil, India and Agricultural Sciences, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences). A “With the release of the peanut Israel to delineate peanut genome complete list of the institutions involved genome sequence, researchers will now sequences, characterize the genetic and with the project and the other funding have much better tools available to accelphenotypic variation in cultivated and sources is available online at erate the development of new peanut variwild peanuts and develop genomic tools eties with improved yields and better for peanut breeding. The initial sequencing was carried nutrition,” he said. t About the peanut out by the BGI, Shenzen, China. In the U.S., peanuts are a major row BY MERRITT MELANCON Assembly was done at BGI, USDA-ARS, crop throughout the South and Southeast. UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA Ames, Iowa, and UC Davis, Davis,

Culpepper, Kemerait named Walter Barnard Award recipients wo University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty have received Walter Barnard Hill Awards in recognition of their public service and outreach programs. Stanley Culpepper, a professor of crop and soil sciences, and Bob Kemerait, an associate professor of plant pathology, both received Hill Awards for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach. The Hill Award is named in honor of Chancellor Walter Barnard Hill, who led UGA from 1899 until his death in 1905. Hill’s desire for more university involvement in the state and his application of these outreach goals helped pave the way for a modern public service oriented university. The awards were presented during


Stanley Culpepper Culpepper, assists in the sustainability of family farms by helping growers control weeds effectively and economically. As a UGA Cooperative Extension weed scientist, he focuses his work on weed control in cotton, vegetables and small grains. He is actively involved in applied weed management research. Culpepper has received numerous awards, the pinnacle of which came in 2010 when he became the first person in Extension to win the EPA’s Montreal Protocol Award for the preservation of the ozone layer.

and nematode management in peanuts, cotton, soybeans and field corn. He joined UGA in 2000 as an Extension researcher and specialist. Highlights of his career have included the development of “Peanut Rx,” a risk index for peanut diseases and the development of set recommendations for controlling nematodes affecting cotton. Kemerait has worked in Guyana and Haiti helping lead CAES peanut projects sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development. Both Culpepper and Kemerait are also past recipients of the D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension. The award is presented by UGA in honor of CAES alumnus D.W. Brooks, founder and chairman emeritus of Gold Kist Inc. t

Bob Kemerait Kemerait focuses his work on disease


the 23rd Annual Public Service and Outreach Meeting and Awards Luncheon held April 7 in Athens.

May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Georgia Peanut Commission increases funding for research projects The commission approves $293,780 in peanut research projects he Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors has approved $293,780 in new research project funding for the 2014-15 research budget year. This action was taken during the commission’s March board meeting. The research projects approved include 28 project proposals submitted from the University of Georgia and USDA Agricultural Research Service. “We are proud of our close relationship and partnership with research institutions in the state,” says Donald Chase, GPC Research Committee chairman. “Peanut growers are pleased to invest in the future by providing monetary support for research and education that has continued to demonstrate a return on our investment. Due to the continuing success enjoyed by Georgia peanut farmers over the past few years, we were able to again


increase research funding for 2014.” Georgia's peanut growers invest $2 per ton annually toward GPC programs which includes research, promotion and education. Research comprises 22 percent of available funds in the commission's budget. “We’re very thankful to the Georgia Peanut Commission for the $256,280 in support of our research and extension peanut team,” said Robert Shulstad, associate dean for research at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Everything from breeding to weed control to pest management to marketing and policy is addressed by members of our peanut team to support the peanut industry in the state.” “Growers have improved cultivars, technologies and better access to information today than ever, allowing them to be

more efficient due to research that has been done ten to fifteen years ago,” says Jamison Cruce, GPC director of research & education. “With ever-increasing production and input costs, we must continue our funding trend to ensure the future of the peanut farming in Georgia remains viable and economical.” At 4,430 pounds per acre, the state average peanut yield in 2013 was the second highest in history, following on the heels of 2012’s state record of 4,580 per acre. A national study conducted by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service shows peanut yields increased 23 percent from 2008 to 2012. All other major row crops increased 2 to 4 percent. For additional information and a complete list of the research projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission visit t BY JOY CROSBY

Florida Ag Literacy Day showcases agriculture lorida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam helped celebrated Florida Agriculture Literacy Day by reading a new book on Florida farming to second graders from Florida A&M Developmental Research School in the historic Senate Chambers of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee. “Florida Ag Literacy Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach our next generation about the Floridians who provide the food and fiber to meet the needs of the world’s growing population,” Commissioner Putnam says. Commissioner Putnam read the book as the children followed along with their own copies. The kids talked about their favorite foods and where they came from. Afterwards, the kids sampled Fresh From Florida fruit and vegetables and roasted peanuts. For the 11th Annual Florida Agriculture Literacy Day, Commissioner Putnam joined more than 2,000 others,



including Florida farmers, growers, ranchers, FFA and 4-H students and teachers, extension agents, master gardeners and agriculture industry representatives who read in honor of the event. This year’s Ag Literacy book, Florida Farms at School, highlights the agricultural programs already in schools, such as Agriculture in the Classroom, 4-H, FFA, Farm to School and others. Volunteers visited more than 3,600 elementary classrooms, reaching more than 72,000 Florida students in 60 counties around the state with the message of the importance of Florida agriculture. “Florida Agriculture Literacy Day has become a very popular program in our industry because it gives farmers and others involved in agriculture a chance to step into the classroom and educate students about the important role agriculture plays in students’ daily lives,” says Ken Barton, chairman of the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom board of directors and executive director of the

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam reads to second grade students from Florida A&M Developmental Research School during Ag Literacy Day.

Florida Peanut Producers Association. Florida Ag Literacy Day is sponsored by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers in agriculture curriculum in order to educate students on the importance of agriculture in Florida. The nonprofit is funded by sales of the specialty agricultural license plate known as the Ag Tag. t

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he University of Georgia’s Extension irrigation specialist is cautious when discussing the future of irrigation and its impact on farmers statewide. Wesley Porter’s job is to educate both Georgia and Alabama farmers on the best way to manage the precious resource. “Definitely when we get down to water management restrictions, as much as we want to turn a blind eye to them right now and pretend like it’s not going to happen, one day we’re going to be restricted by how much water we can use,” Porter says. “But what’s the best way to do that? Lets use that water where it’s absolutely necessary and absolutely needed.” Identifying timely irrigation scheduling methods has been a part of Porter’s


job responsibilities since arriving on the UGA Tifton Campus on Jan. 1. Hired by UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Auburn University), Porter primarily works on row crops, but he also has responsibilities in horticulture, turf, trees and orchards, in both Georgia and Alabama. In his short time on the job, Porter has quickly identified the difference in irrigational philosophies between both states. Georgia “is extremely progressive” with its irrigation work, while Alabama “is brand new,” he says. At UGA, several faculty members who have conducted irrigation research have paved the way for Porter. “We’ve had a lot of work done

New specialist encourages variable rate irrigation Wesley Porter, the new Extension irrigation specialist for both Alabama and Georgia, says farmers are becoming interested in the use of variable rate irrigation. “Many producers either have variable rate control capability or they are becoming interested in this technology,” he says. “An on-off control is a great use for a variable rate irrigation system,” he says. “It aids in saving water and money when compared to a conventional system that applies water over an entire field.” He says it costs about $11 per acre-inch of water to irrigate. This is money that is wasted if irrigation water is applied over waterways, ponds, swampy or wet areas that are not planted to crops. These costs can be considerable. For instance, assume that an entire farm’s irrigated land consists of 100 acres of non-cropped land. If 15 inches of water are applied to both the cropped and non-cropped land during a dry year, then the farmer will be wasting $16,500 that year in applying water to land that does not grow crops. Porter says an investment in variable rate irrigation can quickly pay for itself, perhaps after only one growing season based on each individual case. He also notes that cost-share programs may be available to help farmers offset the initial costs of variable rate irrigation and the investment of soil moisture sensors. Additional savings in both water and irrigation costs may be realized when irrigation rates for cropped land can be adjusted to best fit various irrigation management zones within a field. continued on page 15

Photo by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia.

UGA irrigation specialist helping farmers maximize efficiency and yields

Wesley Porter, hired in January, is the irrigation specialist and serves Georgia and Alabama.

throughout the years by other irrigation specialists. There’s a lot of work continuing to be done by people like George Vellidis, Calvin Perry and other faculty focusing on irrigation principles,” Porter says. “We’re ahead of Alabama and a lot of the rest of the nation when it comes to irrigation implementations, scheduling and irrigation work in general.” In comparison, Alabama has a lot of surface water, rivers and lakes, but not very many irrigation systems, he says. “I’m looking at it from two different spectrums, which can be good because we have all the knowledge based here in Georgia. I can easily transfer that over to Alabama,” Porter says. While each state is distinctively different in their irrigational work, they share the prospect of a dwindling water supply that could lead to increased restrictions on farmers in both states. “It’s going to come down to, ‘If I have limited water, how much should I apply and what’s the best method to do that with?’” Porter said. “That’s why we’re focusing a lot on these scheduling methods so we can find the answers to some of those questions.” Though Porter’s time will be divided continued on page 15

May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Irrigation Guidebook

Tips for using subsurface drip eanut farmers who want to according to Perry. Plus, SDI systems can water, according to Perry. conserve water while still often operate successfully using a much He said he has been using a modified harvesting higher yields of smaller water source than a center pivot UGA Extension checkbook method for irrigated peanuts may want and can be easily automated. scheduling the drip irrigation water to take a look at subsurface drip irrigation He says drip irrigation achieves close applications. (SDI). to 100 percent water application efficienResearch over a 10-year period by Because of above normal rainfall, cy. He adds that drip irrigation may offer USDA-ARS scientists at the National there wasn’t a great peanut yield benefit other potential uses such as a means for Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, from SDI, center pivot irrigation or any applying nematicides and fertilizers. Ga., suggest that lateral drip lines placed type of irrigation used the past under every other peanut two years in the Southeast. row would be as effective But the next drought could in watering the plants as hit at any time, so being ready lateral lines placed under with irrigation still makes every row. Placing drip sense if you’re growing lines under every other row peanuts in the Southeast. will also save on installaCalvin Perry, University of tion and pumping costs. Georgia superintendent at the The SDI lines at Stripling C.M. Stripling Irrigation Park follow the “every Research Park near Camilla, other row” pattern. Georgia, has completed six In Perry’s SDI studies, years of study on SDI irrigated he has also evaluated concrops at the Stripling facility, servation tillage vs. strip with the last two on peanuts. tillage, and subsoiling vs. He has been looking at the no subsoiling. He was response of a full rotation of surprised to find that noncorn, cotton, and peanuts to subsoiled peanuts produced SDI and different tillage higher yields than peanuts treatments on a sandy soil in in the subsoiled land in the Coastal Plain. 2013. He reports the conCalvin Perry has been studying subsurface drip irrigation on peanuts at the Perry says SDI is more ventional tillage peanuts Irrigation Park. Two years of abundant rainfall negated the yield beneexpensive to install than center Stripling had a slight yield advanfits of his irrigation treatments. pivot irrigation. tage over the strip till Subsurface drip irrigation peanuts in the 2013 test. In is especially suited to small fields where “We were able to maintain our peanut prior years, the research always indicated it is difficult to make center pivot systems yields with drip irrigation,” Perry says. subsoiled plots yielded higher. Clearly, fit. SDI is also best suited for fields where “And when we used SDI on cotton, we Perry noted 2013 was a “different” year. farmers can use global positioning were able to increase our yields slightly Wesley Porter, Extension irrigation systems and automated tractor steering to over what we were able to obtain with specialist in Alabama and Georgia, says set the drip lines and to make sure that center pivot irrigation.” peanuts can be a challenging crop for SDI later trips over the field do not interfere In these tests, Perry used a full irriga- irrigation. Full tillage prior to planting with or damage the irrigation lines under tion schedule that applied 13 inches of could interfere with buried drip lines the ground. water through the SDI last year. He also farmed without the use of RTK steering “We got a lot of rain last year,” Perry followed a deficit irrigation schedule that technology. This should not be a problem says as he reported results from the 2013 applied seven inches of water last year. if the field is farmed with RTK automated studies. He worked on the project with The peanut crops in the test also received steering technology. Such technology can University of Georgia agronomist Scott 28.50 inches of rainfall last year. make sure the tillage is offset from the Tubbs and Extension economist Amanda Perry reports that during the wet lines, or producers can use tillage that is Smith. growing season of 2013, the peanuts not as deep as the buried water lines. Perry says that many Georgia farmers irrigated with the deficit irrigation Also, digging peanuts could be a problem. have already installed pivot irrigation in schedule actually yielded higher than “But as long as the drip line is installed fields that are easily irrigated, based on those receiving more water from the full deeper than the digger will ever reach, field shape and size. Irregularly shaped, irrigation schedule. Peanuts receiving SDI this should not be an issue,” Porter adds. smaller fields where pivots are not irrigation water with the full irrigation feasible show great potential for SDI, schedule probably received too much continued on page 15



Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

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Irrigation Guidebook

Moisture sensors make sense peaking at a 2013 peanut field day, Jason Krutz, Extension irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University’s Delta Research & Extension Center, said he is a strong believer in the use of soil moisture sensors for scheduling irrigation. Krutz says farmers who use soil moisture sensors can typically save up to two irrigations per growing season. Checking the soil moisture sensors will also give farmers an indication of when to irrigate several days ahead of when the water needs to be applied. “I don’t care what the crop is, we can’t deplete more than 50 percent of soil moisture without hurting yields,” Krutz says. He also advises farmers to consider soil type in making irrigation decisions. For row crops in the Mississippi Delta, furrow irrigation is used on about 80 percent of the irrigated land, according to Krutz. He recommends using a computer software program called PHAUCET. This stands for pipe hole and universal crown evaluation tool. It basically shows farmers how big a hole they need to use in polypipe to get the most efficient use of irrigation. It shows great potential for reducing the amount of


Mississippi irrigation specialist Jason Krutz recommends soil moisture sensors and accuracy in determining the size of pipe holes used in furrow irrigation.

water pumped from the Delta’s underground water resources. PHAUCET uses engineering equations to calculate pipe pressure and flow rates for each watered furrow. It applies system flow rate, pipe diameter, watered furrow spacing, row lengths and elevations down the length of the pipe. The user can select a hole size design for

each watered furrow to deliver water uniformly. When tested in soybeans, PHAUCET provided a 20 percent savings in pumping times and water use. PHAUCET was developed by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri and has been available to Mississippi farmers through the Yazoo-Mississippi Water Management District. By combining PHAUCET and soil moisture sensors, farmers may be able to save up to 50 percent of the water they had been using for irrigation, according to Krutz. He says that for a fee, the Delta Plastics firm offers a similar program to PHAUCET for farmers alled Pipe Planner. While furrow or polypipe irrigation has been successful in the Mississippi Delta, soil type and topography may prevent this type of irrigation from being used in other peanut growing regions of the Southeast. Wesley Porter, Extension irrigation specialist for Alabama and Georgia, says the sandy soil in the Coastal Plains region is not conducive to furrow irrigation either by flood or by using polypipe. t BY JOHN LEIDNER

Tips for using subsurface drip

UGA irrigation specialist helping farmers maximize efficiency and yields

continued from page 14

continued from page 13

Overall, Porter says more research and demonstration plot work is needed to help farmers become more comfortable about using SDI in growing peanuts. Perry has tested drip lines for singlerow peanuts so far. He plans to team up with Tubbs and Porter to look at twinrow peanuts as well. He says that drip lines placed at six-foot centers in every other row middle (the “soft” middle), and 12 inches deep in the soil have provided good results. With the drip lines 12 inches deep, the irrigation tubes have not been injured when digging the peanuts or when subsoiling the land, according to Perry. He says the drip lines should last at least 15 years before they would need to be replaced. t

between Georgia and Alabama, a lot of his research will be applicable in both states. Publications, fact sheets or demonstrations conducted in Georgia can easily cross over into Alabama and vice versa, he says. Porter, who has a background in precision agriculture, has planned projects on corn, cotton and peanuts so far. The majority of his research will be conducted at UGA’s Stripling Irrigation Park in Camilla, Georgia. For more about Stripling Irrigation Park, see t




New specialist encourages variable rate irrigation continued from page 13

Along with variable rate irrigation, he’d like to see more farmers adopt smarter irrigation scheduling methods, from something as simple as the University of Georgia-developed Easy Pan method, or as advanced as scheduling based on the use of soil moisture sensors. In his own irrigation studies, Porter is aiming to determine the ideal time to use limited supplies of irrigation water, such as when pumping from a farm pond with a limited supply of water. As Porter puts it, “Let’s make every drop count.” t

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Irrigation Guidebook

Smart sensors help schedule variable rate irrigation or a web-based peanut irrigation scheduling tool, one that features an array of smart sensor instruments for collecting important information, check with George Vellidis, researcher on the Tifton Campus of the University of Georgia in the Crop & Soil Sciences Department. Vellidis and his colleague Calvin Perry have installed the smart sensors in 11 farm fields in South Georgia, and then used the data generated from these sensors to track soil moisture conditions throughout the 2013 growing season. Perry works as superintendent at the Stripling Irrigation Research Park near Camilla, Georgia. The 11 fields are equipped with center pivots that can apply variable rate irrigation. They call each group of instruments a node. Each node contains a probe of three Watermark soil sensors installed at depths of 8, 16 and 24 inches. Each of the 11 fields are equipped with 10 to 12 of these nodes. Data from each node was transmitted using a wireless system to a base


Smart sensors installed in a corn field in Georgia. The sensors provide data to track soil moisture conditions.


station located at each pivot point. “From the base station, the data were sent via a cellular phone modem to our web server,” Vellidis says. For the 2013 growing season, participating producers could access soil moisture data for their fields in real time from any internet-capable device, including smartphones and tablets. The collected data showed a wide variation in soil moisture within any given field. “The key to optimizing water use and maximizing yield potential is to apply water at the rates needed by the plants in different locations of the field,” Vellidis explains. Throughout the 2013 growing season, Vellidis and Perry used data from each node to manually run the Irrigator Pro model, and then sent the model’s irrigation decision to each participating producer. “Since then, we have automated this process,” Vellidis says. “So during the 2014 growing season, participating producers will automatically receive the Irrigator Pro decision by email or text message.” Although Irrigator Pro is a great tool, it does not recommend the amount of irrigation needed to replenish soil moisture, according to Vellidis. “To fully enable variable rate irrigation, we need to know the optimal irrigation amount for each irrigation management zone within the field,” he explains. “To achieve this, we are now developing a web-based irrigation scheduling tool. It will allow producers to remotely check soil moisture in fields, and it will also provide recommended irrigation amounts for each irrigation management zone within a field.” As Vellidis envisions it, the information from the smart sensor array will be sent to a prescription irrigation map and downloaded to the pivot’s variable rate irrigation controller. “This web tool will be available for the 2014 growing season,” Vellidis says. The Smart Sensor Array also features flexible fiberglass eight-foot-long antennas which transmit the data from the sensors to the base station. Vellidis

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2014

George Vellidis is making good progress in developing easy to use smart sensors and internet-based variable rate irrigation scheduling tools for peanuts.

developed this wireless, low-cost method of transmitting data from the soil moisture sensors. These antennas allow the signals from the soil sensors to be sent without interference from the plant canopy. The antennas are mounted on a spring which allows them to bend over completely. As a result, tractors and sprayers can pass directly over the antennas and the accompanying sensors without damaging the instruments. Also, the University of Georgia Smart Sensor Array has been licensed to the FirstWater Ag firm, a new company based in Atwood, Kansas, that is specializing in variable rate irrigation technology. Wesley Porter, Extension irrigation specialist in Alabama and Georgia, says the licensing of the University of Georgiadeveloped Smart Sensor Array is good news for farmers who are interested in variable rate irrigation. “This system should be commercially available by next year,” Porter says. Porter says the UGA-developed sensors should provide a low cost alternative method to monitor soil moisture at multiple points within a field. This system will give farmers a cost-effective tool to use in scheduling variable rate irrigation, according to Porter. t BY JOHN LEIDNER

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Irrigation Guidebook

Check adjusted growing degree day model for when to irrigate eciding when to dig peanuts has been the biggest selling point of the adjusted growing degreeday model developed at the USDA National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia, and the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. But the model also has another feature that may be just as important. That feature will give farmers an indication of when they need to irrigate their peanuts. Diane Rowland, now a researcher at the University of Florida, helped to develop the model when she worked at the National Peanut Research Lab. She says the model has been an accurate tool to use in determining when to harvest peanuts and has the potential to help schedule irrigation. Farmers using the model will be able to enter data for the amount of water from irrigation or rainfall that reaches each peanut field. For farmers who use the model, Rowland says it will provide daily information for each field and will tell the user that moisture is adequate, or to start checking for moisture status and prepare to irrigate soon or to irrigate now. The model is based on a previous tool developed by Anthony Drew and


Jerry Bennett from UF and estimates crop canopy cover and daily water use while accounting for evapotranspiration rates, either from nearby weather stations or from a grower’s own in-field weather stations. The model serves as a stand-in for observing plant growth and development, so it can be a good tool for showing when to irrigate, according to Rowland. Wesley Porter, Extension irrigation specialist who works in both Georgia and Alabama, says the model tracks the peanut water use curve that changes over time as the crop matures. “The adjusted growing degree day model is a very good model for predicting crop maturity throughout the entire production season,” Porter says. The model is currently able to access data from weather stations in Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, and a limited number in Alabama according to Porter. “We’re working on getting stations from South Carolina and additional stations in Alabama included also,” he adds. Porter also intends to use the adjusted growing degree day model for scheduling irrigation in his own irrigation tests and plots this year. Porter’s research aims to help to provide validity and confidence in the model for Georgia and Alabama peanut producers when using the model

Diane Rowland with the University of Florida says farmers can determine when to irrigate by using the adjusted growing degree day model.

themselves. The University of Florida Agronomy Department manages the software and the Peanut Field Agronomic Resource Manager (Peanut FARM) website that allows farmers access to the model. Porter says farmers can use the model by creating an account at the following website: BY JOHN LEIDNER

Old reliable Irrigator Pro ne of the oldest and most dependable indicators of when to irrigate peanuts is the Irrigator Pro model developed by USDA researchers at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia. First tested during the 1980s, Irrigator Pro for peanuts has stood the test of time. It has also been improved over the years. The newest versions of Irrigator Pro offer irrigation scheduling advice to growers of corn and cotton. Irrigator Pro is just one of several software programs included in the USDA-


developed Farm Suite group of programs, including one that is useful in whole farm financial planning. To run Irrigator Pro for peanuts, a farmer will need a computer, a soil thermometer and a rain guage. The soil thermometer is used to measure temperature at a two-inch soil depth. The rain gauge is needed to collect information on the amount of rainfall and irrigation water a field receives during the growing season. The thermometers will record daily minimum and maximum temperatures. This information can be collected two or

three times per week. The software program will then advise farmers if irrigation is needed, how much to irrigate and when to check the thermometers again. continued on page 19


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Irrigation Guidebook

UGA, IBM work with farmers on water conservation project esearchers in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are teaming up with IBM to work with farmers in Georgia’s Lower Flint River Basin to enhance water efficiency by up to 20 percent. The college and IBM are collaborating with the Flint River Partnership — which includes the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Nature Conservancy — to help farmers make the best irrigation scheduling decisions to conserve water, improve crop yields and mitigate the impact of future droughts. The Lower Flint River Basin is one of the most diverse and ecologically rich river systems in the Southeast. The area is also the epicenter of agriculture in Georgia: Its 27 counties contribute more than $2 billion in farm-based revenue annually to the region’s economy. Irrigation is central to production, and because of the area’s unique hydrogeology, maximizing water conservation helps support sensitive habitat systems. UGA faculty members George Vellidis, Wes Porter, Ian Flitcroft, Calvin Perry, Craig Kvien and John Snider have worked to develop the irrigation models and recruit farmers to test the new system. “The UGA-CAES faculty have been working with the Flint River Partnership for a number of years to develop tools, techniques and technologies to help growers improve the efficiency of agricultural water use,” Perry says, who is superintendent of UGA’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla, Georgia.

Stripling Irrigation Research Park has been the proving ground for many of these tools, he continued, and serves as a focal point for many of these research, Extension and outreach activities. “Our job is to help farmers conserve water. Irrigation scheduling based on highly accurate weather forecasts and real-time field data will optimize decision making and consequently reduce resource use,” says Marty McLendon, chairman of the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District. “Having access to such forecasts and field data on a mobile platform makes the data relevant, so that we can make proactive irrigation scheduling decisions on the fly.” The Flint River Partnership is using IBM’s Deep Thunder precision weather forecasting service to refine farmers’ already successful irrigation models and water conservation practices. The added weather information will help farmers conserve more water and improve crop yields. Because the forecasts will be available on mobile devices, farmers will have 24-hour access to critical weather information in conjunction with other relevant field data. The partnership is also offering farmers the use of IBM Softlayer to manage their field and weather data and automate irrigation recommendations. UGA faculty have worked with the Flint River Partnership for many years on projects such as using variable-rate irrigation for precision water placement, the UGA Smart Sensor Array for monitoring soil moisture conditions and field mapping with Real Time Kinematic GPS, among others, Perry says. They also are “bringing in the UGA-led Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring

Network to provide historic weather data for use in training the IBM Deep Thunder weather forecast system for localized, southwest Georgia conditions.” The integration of complex data streams generated by GPS-enabled farm equipment and in-field sensors with IBM’s Deep Thunder weather forecasting technology delivered to mobile devices will provide 72-hours advance notice of weather in the Flint region, allowing farmers to be more prepared to make decisions on when to irrigate, plant, fertilize and deploy labor resources. “Farming operations are highly sensitive to weather. In the U.S., that sensitivity is about $15 billion per year,” says Lloyd Treinish, distinguished engineer and chief scientist of IBM Research. “For example, the USDA estimates that 90 percent of crop losses are due to weather. In addition, improving efficiency in irrigation will reduce the impact in areas with limited water supplies. By better understanding and then predicting these weather effects, we can help mitigate these impacts. “Innovators like the Flint River Partnership are showing how they can leverage IBM’s advanced modeling and analytics to increase crop yields. When we consider the need to increase food availability to a growing population, their leadership is helping to create a more sustainable approach to agriculture.” For more information on the C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park, visit For more information on the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, visit t

Old reliable Irrigator Pro

that soil temperature and soil moisture are maintained at levels needed for good yields. In research and in on-farm trials, following Irrigator Pro recommendations has increased peanut yields by 300 pounds per acre and sound mature kernels by two percent. The newer versions of Irrigator Pro for cotton and corn require farmers to invest in soil moisture sensors. Wesley Porter, Extension irrigation specialist in Alabama and Georgia, says

Irrigator Pro is a very good scheduling method for producers to use. He likes its flexibility. “It could fit into about any operation,” Porter says. He says farmers can use the simpler method mentioned above, including the soil temperature, rainfall received and irrigation applied to get scheduling advice, or they can use it for more advanced scheduling in conjunction with soil moisture sensors such as the Watermark brand. t


continued from page 18

The software will also generate useful graphs showing how the moisture and temperature readings for peanuts in a particular field compare to ideal levels. The peanut irrigation recommendations are based on more than 20 years of studies. Irrigator Pro for peanuts is also adapted to modern varieties and it works in all U.S. peanut growing regions. The idea behind Irrigator Pro is to make sure



May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Washington Outlook by Robert L. Redding Jr.

USDA makes progress on regulations With much interest in the outcome of the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed regulations on the 2014 Farm Bill, the department has made available a summary of the legislation and begun working on the most critical pieces of the bill. In addition, USDA has held public forums in Washington, D.C., allowing individuals and groups to give input to the USDA Farm Bill Team. To review the USDA summary of the 2014 Farm Bill, the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness (NCPC) analysis of the key peanut provisions as well as a NCPC review of the new base guidelines, visit the Georgia Peanut Commission’s legislative blog at

Congressman Bishop supports peanut industry position at ag hearing During a U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, highlighted the importance of Congress’ intent relative to Title I Commodity regulatory provisions now being considered by USDA. Congressman Bishop noted the industry’s support for the 2014 Farm Bill and congressional intent as related to base acre provisions. Witnesses at the hearing included USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse and Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia. To view the hearing and Congressman Bishop’s remarks, visit

Senate to review farm bill progress The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee reviewed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to implement the 2014 Farm Bill in a hearing recently. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, convened the committee hearing, Wednesday, May 7, at 9:00 a.m. in room 328A of the Russell Senate Office Building. The hearing, 2014 Farm Bill: Implementation and Next Steps, examined USDA’s ongoing implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified. The Secretary also testified at a recent hearing on the Rural Economy in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture where a number of 2014 Farm Bill questions were raised.

Southern Peanut Farmers Federation Washington, D.C. fly-in Leaders from the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, comprised of the Georgia Peanut Commission, Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association and the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, will be in Washington, D.C., during May, to discuss 2014 Farm Bill Regulations with the USDA and Capitol Hill leaders.

USDA announces demonstration projects to fight hunger Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new funding opportunities for state agencies and Indian tribal organizations to develop innovative strategies to prevent hunger and food insecurity. The demonstration projects under the new initiative are designed to find solutions so that no child goes hungry. “These projects offer an opportunity to explore new ways of combating childhood hunger,” Vilsack says. “By encouraging new innovations, we can not only improve childhood nutrition, but also promote economic development in high-need areas.” The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 provided $40 million to conduct and evaluate demonstration projects aimed at ending childhood hunger, including alternative models for service delivery and benefit levels that promote the reduction or elimination of childhood hunger and food insecurity. Nutritious foods are essential to getting kids off to a healthy start in life, and too many families are unable to provide proper nutrition for their children. Potential projects could include innovative program delivery models for school meals, afterschool snacks programs, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program; enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for eligible households with children; and changes to other targeted federal, state or local assistance, including refundable tax credits, emergency housing, employment and training, or family preservation services for households with children who are experiencing food insecurity. Through these demonstration projects, USDA will target areas or populations where there are currently elevated levels of food insecurity or gaps in nutrition assistance program coverage. The HHFKA requires that at least one demonstration project be carried out on an Indian reservation in a rural area with a service population having a prevalence of diabetes that exceeds 15 percent. Approximately $30 million will be awarded for up to five demonstration projects in the form of cooperative agreements between USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and grantees. The remaining funds will be used for independent evaluations of each project. Federal feeding programs purchase significant amounts of peanut butter. The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation is working with Congress and USDA to increase these purchases.

Legislative Updates available online at


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Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day set for July 10 he Sunbelt Expo Field Day is scheduled for Thursday, July 10, 2014, beginning at 7:15 a.m. Attendees will not only have a chance to learn from the region’s top agricultural consultants and specialists to many of the pertinent areas of agriculture, but they will be able to participate in hands-on demonstrations. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m., followed by a complimentary biscuit breakfast, exhibit viewing and welcome from Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Farm Bureau. Attendees will have a chance to win some great door prizes as well as receive a free Expo cap.


The trams will depart for the field tour at 8:00 a.m. sharp. The field day is free and open to those involved in agriculture and agribusiness. Visitors can see new demonstrations, examine research trial results and speak with company representatives and university researchers to get up-to-date recommendations on topics like new seed varieties, irrigation, crop protection, precision agriculture, soil fertility and organic farming. It’s an opportunity to preview what you will see at the 37th annual Sunbelt Ag Expo which will be held October 14-16, 2014. Research presented at the field day is

Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day Schedule Biscuit Breakfast Reception beginning at 7:15 a.m. Trams will begin their route to the fields promptly at 8:00 a.m. More information available by calling 229-985-1968 or visiting Expo is 4 miles southeast of U.S. Hwy 319 on Hwy 133.

Mark your calendar! 37th Annual Sunbelt Ag Expo - October 14-16, 2014

Visitors at Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day are able to see crop demonstrations and examine research trials.

almost totally driven by those we serve. University researchers and company representatives gather information about problems farmers are facing and work to solve those. Research is done in collaboration with farmers, industry, government and other universities in order to determine the best approach – economically, environmentally and socially – for the challenges that confront Southeast farmers. Anyone attending this field day – owner, operator or land steward — will take away useful information on a variety of topics and subject matter they can apply to their agriculture or agribusiness operation. t

APPA referendum

FPPA scholarship

The Alabama Peanut Producers Association is required by law to hold a producer referendum every three years continuing the state check-off program for peanuts. This year’s referendum has been set for Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Polling places in each county have been established. These counties will have over 500 acres of peanuts in the 2013 crop year. However, there is no problem with counties less than 500 acres having a polling site if they wish. The polling hours will be between 8 a.m. (or normal hours) and 3:00 p.m. Any producer who has grown peanuts in crop years 2011, 2012, or 2013 is eligible to vote. For a list of polling locations, contact the Alabama Peanut Producers Association office at 334-792-6482 or your local county agent.

The Florida Peanut Producers Association is pleased to announce the opening of their 2014 Scholarship Award Program, effective April 1, 2014. Two $1,200 scholarships will be awarded to deserving high school seniors and/or college students. The applicant or someone in the applicant’s family must be an actively producing peanut grower, not necessarily a member of the FPPA. It is the intent of the Scholarship Award Committee, however, that the award recipients attend a Florida junior college or four-year university. Each winner will receive $600 when the scholarship winners are announced. The remaining $600 will be awarded after the completion of one semester and documentation of passing grades is submitted to the FPPA Office. “The Florida Peanut Producers Association is committed to helping further the education of young people in Florida, and the scholarship program is evidence of our commitment,” says Ken Barton, executive director of the FPPA. For an application, contact the FPPA office at 850-526-2590. The scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2014. May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Southern Peanut Growers Food service promotions

Consumer promotions

The Southern Peanut Growers works hard to build relationships across the food service arena – from fine dining restaurants to quick-service chains. • SPG’s partnership with Noodles & Company for March, National Peanut Month resulted in about 875,000 impressions and a noticeable increase in sales of the Indonesian Peanut Saute which was promoted during March. In their eclub newsletter, Noodles & Company specifically gave a shout-out (and web link) to ‘our friends at the Southern Peanut Growers.” • Jeanne Bauer, SPG’s food service consultant attended the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance meeting on April 7 where the little bags of peanuts were greatly appreciated. • SPG is sponsoring a break during the National Restaurant Association’s annual meeting in May in Chicago. The break gives us an opportunity to showcase some great new menu ideas using peanuts and peanut butter to the executives who make menu decisions.

#PBPride Twitter Party SPG hosted a Twitter Party on March 12 resulting in a high level of engagement. #PBPride trended for nearly half the one-hour party as people shared their favorite recipes and answered trivia questions about our favorite food! PB My Way Recipe Contest Recipes poured in from peanut butter lovers across the United States during SPG’s The United States of Peanut Butter Promotion. As of press time, SPG continues to engage with peanut butter lovers as they vote for their favorite regional finalists on SPG’s Facebook page to determine the grand prize winner. Regional finalists are: • West: Easy Peanut Butter & Jam Pastries, Peanut Butter Vanilla Bean Cake, and Pacific NW Satay Salmon • Southwest: Nutty Jalepeno-Chicken Stuffed Peppers, Spicy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Baklava, and PB&J Chicken Wings • Southeast: Carolina Dreaming Appetizer Meatballs, Peanut Lovin’ Banana Pudding, and Peanut Butter & Berry Biscuits • Midwest: After School Peanut Butter Apple Pie, Peanut Butter Sugar Cream Pie, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn • Northeast: Pennsylvania PB&C Bars, Chinatown Peanut Butter & Pork Pot Stickers, and Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Nutrition Outreach Southern Peanut Growers has jumped on board National Peanut Board’s new slogan, The Perfectly Powerful Peanut, as we spread the good news about peanuts and peanut butter. • SPG exhibited with the Georgia Peanut Commission at the Georgia Dietetic Association meeting on March 20. • SPG provided peanuts and materials promoting protein in peanuts and peanut butter to the Vegetarian Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. • SPG exhibited with the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association at the Mississippi Association of Nutrition & Dietetics on April 10. Leslie Wagner, executive director of SPG, led a breakout session inviting attendees to Hear and Taste the Good Nutrition of Peanuts and Peanut Butter. “The combination of the serious nutrition and new allergy information with the fun of tasting easy and healthy peanut and peanut butter recipes was a big draw,” Wagner says. “More than half the attendees attended this session and were actively engaged throughout the presentation.”

Marketing arm of

Peanut Butter Loaf with Chocolate Chips Ingredients: 1 cup creamy peanut butter 1 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 cup milk 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tsp kosher salt 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts halves 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper so it over hangs the edges. Beat the peanut butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Beat in the milk until smooth. Stir the flour with the baking powder and salt. Stir into the wet mixture just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the peanuts and chocolate chips over the top of the loaf. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the pan and directly onto the rack cool completely.

Southern Peanut Growers 1025 Sugar Pike Way · Canton, Georgia 30115 (770) 751-6615 · FAX (770) 751-6417 email: Visit our Web site at

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Peanut referendum wins tremendous support from producers n an overwhelming show of confidence in the National Peanut Board, America’s peanut farmers voted in favor of continuing the Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order, which authorizes the National Peanut Board. In order for the continuance referendum to pass, a majority of eligible producers needed to vote in favor of continuing the Order. The referendum passed with a 92 percent approval rate. Voting in the referendum took place from April 7 through April 18. Growers who paid assessments on peanuts produced during the representative period from January 1 through December 31, 2013, and were current peanut producers were eligible to vote. The Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 requires a referendum be conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of


Agriculture. “It is gratifying to know the work of the National Peanut Board is recognized by the growers we serve as essential to their success and contributes to keeping peanuts as America’s most preferred nut,” says John Harrell, chairman of the National Peanut Board. Harrell also said, “On behalf of the Board, we’re thrilled at this vote of confidence and we pledge to continue working hard for America’s peanut farmers.” Since its inception in 2001, the National Peanut Board has been pivotal in maintaining receptive markets and increasing consumption of USA-grown peanuts. Some highlights include: • Everyday frequency of consumption of peanuts has doubled since 2001 and everyday consumption of peanut butter increased 71 percent in the same time period; according to a consumer tracking

study by The Bantam Group, 2012. • NPB recently launched the brand platform, The Perfectly Powerful Peanut, the centerpiece of a new nationwide, multi-media advertising campaign and slogan, helping to unify messages across the entire peanut industry. • NPB has invested more than $20 million in 900+ production research projects to help farmers increase yields while implementing the most sustainable agricultural practices. • NPB has funded more than $10 million in food allergy research, education and outreach to help identify causes and seek treatments for food allergy sufferers. • Peanut menu listings have more than doubled on American menus, increasing 122 percent from January to June 2007 to April-June, 2013, and continuing to outpace almonds; according to data from Technomic Menu Monitor, 2013. t

May/June 2014 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


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Southern Peanut Growers Conference EDGEWATER BEACH RESORT July 24-26, 2014 Panama City Beach, Florida

Key topics: Legislation, Research and Promotion

l a u n n A 16th nt! Eve

For more information contact:

Alabama Peanut Producers Association P.O. Box 8805 Dothan, AL 36304 334-792-6482 Florida Peanut Producers Association 2741 Penn Avenue, Suite 1 Marianna, FL 32448 850-526-2590 Georgia Peanut Commission P.O. Box 967 Tifton, GA 31793 229-386-3470

Brought to you by the: Alabama Peanut Producers Association Florida Peanut Producers Association Georgia Peanut Commission Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

Mississippi Peanut Growers Association P.O. Box 284 Petal, MS 39465 601-606-3547

Register online at

Profile for SEPF

Southeastern Peanut Farmer - May/June 2014  

Southeastern Peanut Farmer - May/June 2014