May/June 2021 - Southeastern Peanut Farmer

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A communication service of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.


May/June 2021

In This Issue 6 / Overcoming Peanut Allergies Follow the story of how Sam Bristow is overcoming his peanut allergy through oral immunotherapy.

10 / Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for July 15-17


Photo by National Peanut Board.

The annual conference provides farmers with updates on legislative issues, production issues and industry promotions.


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

2021 Peanut Irrigation Guidebook

16 / Washington Outlook

Cover Photo

18 / Southern Peanut Growers Update

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

The 2021 Irrigation Guidebook features information on selecting the correct sensor threshold for irrigating peanuts, pivot uniformity and how to interpret mobile irrigation data. Irrigation pivot in a peanut field in Mitchell County, Georgia. Photo courtesy of National Peanut Board.

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.

May/June 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer



Calendar of Events

A New Season of Growth


new peanut season is upon us. The start of the season brought in some unusually cooler temperatures and wet conditions but then the weather shifted to hot and dry rather quickly. The weather always seems to challenge farmers and provide lessons for each year on things to improve or change for future years. This time of year also brings a new season of growth for many who may have high school or college graduates. Some farmers may even be planting their very first peanut crop by their self. Recently I read a quote that seems fitting for this time of year. “Every new season of your life will be an opportunity for you to learn and grow. Don’t celebrate the good without celebrating the bad because they both work together to prepare you for the next season of your life.” Many times, we often talk about the good, celebrate the good and try to forget the bad. Well this past year has definitely been one of those trying times for many who may have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, businesses or other hardship. I don’t think this past year is one that will not be discussed for future years. In fact, there are many things we can learn from each other regarding coping with change, trying new things and getting back to the basics. At a time when many Americans were home trying to juggle working from home while teaching their kids, many of those families were looking for a way to source locally grown foods. Many tried their hand at victory gardens while others purchased food boxes from local farmers. All the while, I believe more individuals started remembering and thanking the American farmer for the abundant food supply available every year. Many times in agriculture we have opportunities to learn from some of our past mistakes at planting, spraying or even with irrigation. Let’s take this year to reflect on the bad and good times so that we can grow and learn for the future peanut seasons and be able to share our knowledge with future generations of farmers!  Joy Carter Crosby Editor

IMPORTANT NOTICE Peanut Farmers Antitrust Settlements Recently, some farmers may have received an email or letter in the mail regarding an antitrust litigation notice. Do not disregard the notice! If you received the notice then check the peanut sales information listed on the letter and file your claim by July 13, 2021. If you do not submit a valid Claim Form by the deadline, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement Fund, but you will be bound by the Court’s judgment in these actions. The notice was sent to farmers or entities who sold raw, harvested runner peanuts in the U.S. to Birdsong Peanuts, Golden Peanut or Olam Peanut Shelling Company from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2019. Continue to check the website,, to be kept informed about any future developments. If you believe you are a member of the Class, you are urged to obtain a copy of the Notice, which explains your rights regarding the settlements and related matter. If you have any questions concerning this litigation, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at (844) 754-7469 or through email at


Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

 USA Peanut Congress, June 28-July 1, 2021. For information call 229-888-2508 or visit  American Peanut Research Education Society Virtual Annual Meeting, July 13-15, 2021. For more information call 229-329-2949 or visit

 Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 15-17, 2021, Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, Fla. For more details visit  Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day, July 22, 2021, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit or call 229-985-1968.  American Peanut Shellers Association and National Peanut Buying Points Association Pre-Harvest Meeting, Aug. 10-11, 2021. For more information visit or call 229-888-2508.

 Georgia Peanut Tour, Sept. 14-16, 2021, Tifton, Ga. and surrounding area. For more information visit the tour website at  Brooklet Peanut Festival, Sept. 18, 2021. For more information visit the festival’s website at  Plains Peanut Festival, Sept. 25, 2021. For more information visit

 Central Florida Peanut Festival, Oct. 2, 2021, Williston, Fla. For more information visit  Georgia Peanut Festival, Oct. 16, 2021, Sylvester, Ga. For more information visit  Sunbelt Ag Expo, Oct. 19-21, 2021, Moultrie, Ga. For more information visit or call 229-985-1968.

 Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Oct. 27-29, 2021, Caribe Royale Orlando Resort, Orlando, Fla. For more information visit  National Peanut Festival, Nov. 5-14, 2021, Dothan, Ala. (Let us know about your event. Please send details to the editor at

Peanut Allergy Treatment Provides Parents Hope


enry County parents, Caleb and Freda Bristow were heartbroken, yet determined after finding out their youngest son Sam, suffered from a peanut allergy. For some parents this information may seem frustrating and inconvenient but for the Bristow family it was very problematic. Caleb Bristow grew up on a peanut farm, manages a peanut buying point and also sells peanut trailers. Peanuts are an essential part of his everyday life. “I even had people joke- with me growing up in the peanut industry- and say oh wouldn’t it be funny if your kid has a peanut allergy,” Caleb says. About a year ago, when Sam was around six months old, Caleb and Freda started introducing Sam to peanut products. He had a few minor reactions to it, but Caleb wasn’t convinced his child could be allergic to peanuts. Having already been diagnosed with some food allergies, and after a trip to a pediatric allergist, the Bristow’s worst nightmare was confirmed. Sam was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at around nine months old. “I literally work for peanuts and now I have a kid who is allergic to peanuts,” Caleb says. Fortunately for the Bristow family, they knew that just living with the allergy wasn’t the only option like their allergist had suggested. Caleb, having also been the former executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, previously had the opportunity to meet with a doctor in Birmingham who was working on a groundbreaking treatment that essentially eliminates the peanut allergy from a person’s body.

Sam Bristow had a few minor reactions to peanut products at six months old but now through oral immunotherapy, he is able to eat up to a half teaspoon of peanut butter.

Joseph LaRussa, M.D. is a BoardCertified Allergy and Immunology Specialist in Birmingham, Alabama. With 22 years of pediatric allergy experience and having a child with peanut and tree nut allergies, LaRussa knows what it is like to be a parent of a food allergy child. He has discovered children with a peanut allergy can actually be desensitized to the allergy through oral immunotherapy. In January of 2015 a group of researchers from both London and the U.S. released a groundbreaking study which is now known as the Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study. The results of the study found that the introduction of peanuts into an infant’s diet, prior to 11-months old, reduced the prevalence of peanut allergy by approximately 70-80 percent ( This study motivated LaRussa to conduct further research on how to help patients with peanut allergy.

Peanut Allergy Facts Online 6

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

During the Bristow’s first appointment the doctor said something that Freda says she’ll never forget. LaRussa said, “we want to dictate food allergies, not food allergies dictate the way we live.” “I almost cried… that was just like a sigh of relief. We can help him (Sam) with this, so he doesn’t have to live in fear,” says mother, Freda. Sam is far enough along in his treatments that the Bristow family no longer has to worry about having peanut products in the house. “After 16 weeks we have finally worked our way up to half a teaspoon of peanut butter,” Caleb says. By springtime, Sam should be able to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. While this immunotherapy is not FDA approved, it has proven to be a safe and viable option for infants and children trying to overcome peanut allergies. For more information on how to safely introduce peanuts to your infant to help prevent peanut allergy, visit Since 2001, through the National Peanut Board, peanut farmers across the nation have earmarked more than $32 million of their own dollars into research and education about food and peanut allergies.  Bਙ Aਂ​ਂਙ Hਉ਍ਂਕ਒ਇ

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

Georgia Peanut Commission hosted a Kickoff to Planting Peanut Palooza in April The Georgia Peanut Commission hosted a Kickoff to Planting – Peanut Palooza on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at their office in Tifton. The event brought hundreds to the GPC headquarters where they could learn more about Attendees at the 2021 Peanut Palooza were able peanuts, plant their very to learn more about Georgia Peanuts, sample a own peanut seed, taste variety of peanut products and tour the Georgia samples of peanut products Ag Experience Mobile Classroom. and more. The family-friendly event featured free samples of boiled peanuts from Hardy Farms, fried peanuts, grilled PB&Js, Wholly Rollies from Crazy Richard’s, peanut oil from Oliver Farms, peanut candy from The Hershey Company, cupcakes from Simply Sweet Celebrations and peanut butter shake samples from Tifton Takeover Nutrition. The event also provided an opportunity for attendees to sit in a tractor from Perrin Farm Equipment and Atlantic & Southern, as well as visit educational booths from UGA Tifton Campus, ABAC, the Georgia Museum for Agriculture and Air Evac. Life Flight. The event also included the new Georgia Ag Experience which is a STEM based mobile classroom that showcases Georgia’s diverse agriculture. This state-of-the-art agricultural learning experience is designed to give third through fifth-grade students and the public a chance to learn more about Georgia agriculture. The 36-foot trailer includes colorful farm photos, interactive technology and displays of products made from the various ag commodities. The Georgia Ag Experience was displayed at the event by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture.

FPPA announces scholarship money available The Florida Peanut Producers Association announces the opening of their 2021 Scholarship Award Program. 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 in Florida. It is the intent of the Scholarship Award Committee, however, that the award recipients attend a Florida junior college or four-year university. For an application contact the FPPA office at 850-526-2590 or visit the FPPA website at The scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2021.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

Georgia Peanut Commission partners with Family Features for food page on peanuts The Georgia Peanut Commission partnered with Family Features for a “Power Family Meals with Protein-Packed Peanuts” food page, social media posts and video. The full color food page was made available to newspapers, magazines and bloggers across the United States from January to April. The food page featured four recipes including Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce, Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili, Peanut Granola Bars and Peanut Butter Chicken. The promotion also featured social media amplification through Lastly, the campaign featured a video for the Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies which had 251,863 views. The total program garnered more than 407 million impressions. The promotion directed the audience to the GPC website for more recipes and information. During the time of the promotion, the GPC website received more than 24,000 news users and some of the most viewed web pages included the recipes from this campaign. Georgia Peanut Commission promotes peanuts through digital ads with iHeart The Georgia Peanut Commission sponsored digital targeted display ads across Georgia and in Washington, D.C. for National Peanut Month in March, along with podcast advertising through iHeart Media. The campaign featured the new “Greatest Snack on Earth” campaign. The campaign targeted consumers based on a specific location and keyword searches on the Internet. The targeted display ads in Washington, D.C. reached 1,125,000 impressions. The podcast advertising and targeted display ads in March throughout the state of Georgia reached 1,500,178 impressions.

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

APPA exhibits at Alabama School Nutrition Conference The Alabama Peanut Producers Association participated in the 2021 Alabama School Nutrition Conference on April 13-15 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. APPA sponsored an industry educational session led by Sherry Coleman Collins from the National Peanut Board. There were 125 participants in the session who learned about managing food allergens in schools, and received literature on being “allergy aware” not “peanut free.” APPA also exhibited during the industry show, and revealed their new School Nutrition Promotion Kit for school systems to use to promote peanuts and peanut butter in their lunchrooms. APPA received a grant from The Peanut Institute to attend and sponsor this meeting. NPB assisted with the development of the school nutrition promotion kit.

APPA exhibits at the Alabama Chapter - American Academy of Pediatrics Meeting The Alabama Peanut Producers Association exhibited at the 2021 Spring Meeting of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in Sandestin, Florida on April 22-24. More than 70 pediatricians were in attendance and received peanut allergy and nutrition information. Abby Himburg, (pictured left) APPA communications coordinator, visited with pediatricians at the APPA booth during the meeting.

Targeted display ads for the Talladega NASCAR race At the end of April, APPA promoted peanuts through a targeted geofence campaign centred around the NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama. The geofence campaign reached more than 50,000 people from Thursday to Sunday. Smartphone users in the race proximity were served the image to the left when browsing the internet. The graphic linked viewers directly to the APPA blog. A second graphic focused on peanut allergies included a link to more information regarding peanut allergies.

FPPA exhibits at Florida State Fair in Tampa The Florida State Fair is usually held in early February each year in Tampa, Florida. This year the start of the state fair was delayed until the end of April because of COVID19 restrictions. Although the crowds did not appear to be as large this year, it was still a successful event. With COVID-19 safety precautions in place, Florida Ken Barton, FPPA executive director, visits Peanut Producers Association staff were able to visit with with attendees at the many attendees who were interested in increasing their Florida State Fair. knowledge of Florida agriculture. FPPA had live peanut plants on display and a variety of information including recipe cards, health and nutritional brochures, grow your own peanut plant seed kits and roasted peanuts. Attendees and exhibitors hope the Florida State Fair will return to the February time frame in 2022 and crowds will show up to support Florida Agriculture.

Peanut Day at Mississippi State’s Dudy Noble Field Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and Southern Peanut Growers teamed up to sponsor Peanut Day at Mississippi State University’s Dudy Noble Field for a baseball game during Super Bulldog Weekend on April 18. More than 13,000 people were at the game to visit the Mississippi Peanut tent, get a free bag of Popcorn Flavor Roasted Peanuts and get their picture made with Buddy McNutty. Mississippi Peanuts were also featured on Mississippi the video board twice peanut trivia was during the game and displayed on radio listeners heard the Jumbotron throughout the a Mississippi Peanuts baseball game. advertisement. Alan Atkins, District 3 MPGA board member, talked peanuts with the play by play announcer on the MSU radio network for three innings. Visual trivia on peanuts was displayed on the Jumbotron throughout the game, plus the MPGA “Perfectly Powerful” peanut tent was setup giving out literature and complimentary peanuts.

Mississippi peanuts at the state welcome centers The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association is continuing their promotion at the state’s visitor centers by offering free peanuts. Visitor centers on I-55 South, I-20 East and I-59 North are proud to tell tourists about peanuts and provide samples. The centers have been busy with increased travelers due to Spring break and everyone feeling safe to travel again. The MPGA is also providing literature on peanut allergy myths and heart-healthy peanuts to the visitor centers.

May/June 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


22nd Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference


ark your calendars for the 22nd Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 15-17, 2021, at the Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, Panama City Beach, Florida. This year’s conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about legislative issues, peanut promotions and production issues. The registration fee for growers is $145 which includes all conference events and meals. The registration deadline is June 30. The registration fee increases by $50 on July 1. The theme for this year’s conference, “Emerge - Bringing Vision to Peanuts,” plans to highlight the future value of peanuts, the future of grading, processor needs and farm automation in the future. During the Saturday morning general session, the keynote speaker is U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Arkansas, chairman of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade for the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. To register and view the conference schedule visit

Schedule of Events Thursday, July 15 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Ice Cream Social and Conference Registration 6:30 p.m.

Welcoming Reception

7:00 p.m.

Welcoming Dinner Entertainment: Three on a String

Friday, July 16 7:00 a.m. Prayer Breakfast - Featuring Boyd Deal, My Struggle - His Glory 8:30 a.m.

General Session I - Future Vision of Peanut Value & Grading Karl Zimmer, Premium Peanut T.E. Moye, Georgia Federal State Inspection Service Dr. Marshall Lamb, USDA-ARS National Peanut Research Lab

10:00 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:30 a.m.

Spouse Program - The Art of Container Grown Herbs featuring Lucy Edwards, Alabama Extension

10:30 a.m.

General Session II - Vision for Farm Automation in the Future Than Hartsock, Blue River Technology Dr. Wes Porter, University of Georgia Dr. Joby Czarnecki, Mississippi State University



Luncheon - Peanuts: Vision to Feed the World - Featuring Mark Moore, MANA Nutrition Sponsored by BASF

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Fun on the Beach with Corteva Sponsored by Corteva 6:00 p.m.

Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise Sponsored by FMC (limited tickets) Evening on Your Own!

Saturday, July 17 7:00 a.m. Breakfast - Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Awards Sponsored by Farm Press and National Peanut Board 9:00 a.m.

General Session III - State of U.S. Peanut Policy U.S. Senator John Boozman, R-Arkansas Bob Redding, The Redding Firm Dr. Stanley Fletcher, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Peanut Policy Listening Session: Jacob Davis and Carl Sanders, Alabama Peanut Producers Association; Ken Barton and Michael Davis, Florida Peanut Producers Association; Don Koehler and Armond Morris, Georgia Peanut Commission and Malcolm Broome and Joe Morgan, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association


Lunch on your own and afternoon free!

12:30 - 6 p.m.

Golf Tournament, The Executive Course at Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort

7:00 p.m.


7:30 p.m.

Roaring ‘20s Dinner and Entertainment Featuring The American Flyers Sponsored by Syngenta


Selecting the Correct Sensor Threshold for Irrigating Peanuts


he standard recommended soil water tension trigger point for peanuts in sandy loam soil (most predominate soil type across southern Georgia), is 45 kPa. This value has been used in research for over the past six years and has aided in maximizing yields when compared to other irrigation scheduling methods. However, there is evidence (such as primed acclimation) that suggests the trigger level of peanut could be adjusted to better match the water requirement. Thus, this article aims to provide information on varied irrigation trigger levels to aid in maximizing yield. A two-year study was conducted at UGA’s Stripling Irrigation Research Park (SIRP) in Camilla, Georgia, under a variable rate lateral irrigation system with the main objectives of utilizing soil moisture information to determine the optimal timing or sensor reading for triggering irrigation on peanut on commonly planted varieties to Georgia and the surrounding region, in addition to evaluating the varied irrigation timing effects on final crop yield. During both the 2018 and 2019 production seasons, plots were established at UGA’s SIRP under a variable rate lateral irrigation system capable of independently controlling water

applications within eight row wide by 42 ft. long plots. The field has a total of 27 plots, or enough area for nine treatments to have three replications each. Peanuts were planted during early to mid-May during both years, and soil water tension was monitored hourly. Daily irrigation decisions were made from the data collected at 7:00 a.m. each morning. WaterMark soil water tension (SWT) sensors were used to trigger irrigation at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 kPa. To bring this into perspective 20 is considered wet, 30, wetter than average, 40 is near optimal, 50 is near optimal, and 60 is dry. Yield was collected by harvesting the middle two rows from each plot. While statistically there were not differences between the differences within years there was a numerical trend of increasing yield as the soil water tension increased up to 50 kPa. Once the soil was allowed to dry beyond 50 kPa yield was reduced in both years. It should be noted that 32.7 and 19.7 inches of rain were received in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Independent of the total amount of rainfall the same trend of increasing yield up to the 50 kPa level then a reduction of yield once the SWT was kept drier was observed. This suggests that there is a penalty for

2018 Treatment

Irrigation Applied (inches)

20 kPa


30 kPa 40 kPa

5.5 4

50 kPa


60 kPa



Yield (lb/ac) α = 0.05

Irrigation Applied (inches)

5847ab 5729ab 5900ab


6047a 5862ab

9.2 15.8 9.9

6596ab 6316b







5650ab 5625b




11.4 6.9 5.4

Yield (lb/ac) α = 0.05 6567ab 6743ab 6775a 6846a 6492ab

irrigating peanuts too early with too much water and for delaying irrigation, or not irrigating the crop with enough irrigation. The data strongly suggests adopting a soil moisture sensor, or more advanced irrigation scheduling method when scheduling irrigation on peanuts as both under and over watering them has shown yield reductions. While on the topic of over irrigating peanuts, another critical topic to discuss is the utilization of the Checkbook method. If followed without considering current environmental conditions the UGA Checkbook method can miss the irrigation target. This can happen by overor under- irrigating depending on current environmental conditions. However, typically the Checkbook method tends to over-irrigate. This can be seen during both 2018 and 2019, where the Checkbook method applied approximately double the amount of irrigation as the overall applied average. In both years the yield was lower than treatments with much less water applied. Higher amounts of irrigation with lower yields directly translates to decreases in Irrigation Water Use Efficiency (IWUE), which translates to reduction in profitability in most cases. Current environmental conditions such as rainfall, temperature, sunlight (solar radiation), and humidity should be considered when determining how much irrigation to apply via the Checkbook method in a given week. A week with cooler and cloudier weather will require less irrigation, while a week with lots of sunshine, high temperatures, and low humidity will require a higher than average amount of irrigation. The Checkbook method is meant as a guide, and was developed based on a long-term (15-year) average evapotranspiration value. Thus, these averages can miss the target if consideration to current conditions are not considered.  Bਙ Wਅਓ਌ਅਙ M. Pਏ਒ਔਅ਒ U਎ਉਖਅ਒ਓਉਔਙ ਏਆ Gਅਏ਒ਇਉਁ

May/June 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer



The Importance of Pivot Uniformity and How to Interpret Mobile Irrigation Data by David Hall, UGA Extension Water Educator and Wesley M. Porter, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Extension Precision Ag and Irrigation Specialist


ssuming a center pivot is installed to the correct specifications, the efficiency and uniformity of this system will only deteriorate from installation forward. Flowing pressurized water over time will wear away orifice openings and splash plates. Proof is provided in the 10-year-old rotator plates in figure 1 below. Figure 2. Obvious drought stressed peanuts from lack of sufficient irrigation revealing visible “rings” in parallel circles from nozzles applying more water while other nozzles are applying less.

Figure 1. Rotator plates from a 10-year-old pivot with around 9,000 hours. The left plate is near the end of the pivot where flow is higher and the right one is near the first span where the flow is much lower. Notice the raised cut out on the heavy flow nozzle (circled in red) compared to the lower flow rate nozzle which will affect spray pattern.

As an UGA Extension Water Educator, I have seen and uncovered some brain puzzling issues with center pivot irrigation systems. Sometimes it is very obvious to the eye (Figure 2) and sometimes it takes a flow meter along with in field measurements to identify a problem. Farming is an occupation that has very little, if any, downtime. Taking for granted that center pivot irrigation systems will be efficient and apply water uniformly from year to year can be very costly. Many times, issues are not discovered until harvest season. Sadly, at harvest, after yield has been lost it is too late for correction. Mobile Irrigation Labs (MIL) are not anything new to the Southeast. Several agencies can perform one and programs to aid producers in


allowing them to audit pivots on their own can be provided. The University of Georgia Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension Service has been working to assist producers with audits for years now. Irrigation audits require a little time to perform and the weather must be conducive to complete the test, such as wind and temperature. Catch cans are measured off equally, usually every 20 feet, in a straight line from the center pivot point. The pivot is then operated applying 0.2 inches of irrigation across the buckets as you can see below. The flow rate is measured in gallons per minute, pressure noted, visual inspection of the whole system is observed which includes the end gun arc movement and noting any obvious leaks

Figure 3. A Mobile Irrigation audit being performed.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

or abnormalities with any nozzles. I like to review the irrigation design of the system for comparisons to make sure the length, number of nozzles and data I am gathering matches the original design. Many times, an incorrect design due to improperly matching up the available flow, has led to blindly underwatering a crop. Simple rain gauges spaced along several spans can help verify if you are applying what the percent timer or controller is supposed to be applying. Surprisingly, I still see the old permanent black magic marker with an arrow pointing to a percentage saying “run here” or “.5” as in figure 4.

Figure 4. An example of a “marked” pivot for estimating approximately how much to apply and how long it will take.

By conducting an audit, a new application chart can be supplied for the pivot providing the farmer with the corresponding rates for each timer setting. The simple fact is that pumps and nozzles wear with time and decreased flow rates are inevitable. Charts need to be updated to ensure correct irrigation amounts are being applied. Looking at audits from a water conservation angle, a map showing potential water savings with end gun shut

2021 IRRIGATION GUIDEBOOK off on non-crop areas can be produced for an “average year” (Figure 5). Once an end gun shuts off, two things can be observed immediately. The pressure will increase and the flow will decrease.

Figure 5. An end gun map showing potential water savings on this field of peanuts using an end gun shut off.

Pumps are designed to pump a specific flow rate at a given pressure. If the flow is restricted and pressure is increased, the pumps ability to perform at peak performance is restricted, leading to lower flow. All pumps have a pump curve that show gallons pumped at a specific pressure. By not irrigating non-crop areas, water conservation of millions of gallons begins to add up rapidly. When UGA Extension performs a mobile irrigation lab audit, the graph in Figure 6 represents part of what is provided back to the producer. Figure 6 provides a foot by foot assessment of how uniformly a pivot is applying water down the length of the system. The X-axis is the measured application rate down the actual length of the pivot plus the water being applied by the end gun to the wetted perimeter. The Y-axis represents the amount of water caught at a given percent speed or in an amount of inches applied. Keep in mind, this graph is representing a line segment of a the entire application circle. As the pivot rotates

in a circle, each area that is applying too much or too little water is doing that all the way around the circle. This directly relates to acres affected. The further down the length of the pivot you are from the center, the greater the effect. As you can see in the graph below, a simple end gun adjustment on the end of this system (which affects the highest number of acres), cleaning out partially stopped up nozzles and replacing nozzles that have malfunctioned could greatly improve the uniformity and distribution of water on this pivot. It is difficult to visually see a nozzle that is partially clogged, but the catch can data shows it very easily. The life span of nozzles depends greatly on use and water quality, but a good rule of thumb is to plan to change nozzles at least every 10 to 15 years. So why is this important and what needs to be done next? The pumping cost to the producer will be the same whether they apply it uniformly or not. The main point here is the return on investment. If irrigation is applied non-uniformly in areas across the field, the crop will not yield well and areas over watered can lead to crop lodging, boll rot, disease, stuck pivots and possible erosion, while areas that are under-irrigated will most likely lead directly to yield loss. All leading to decreased revenue or “money left on the table.” Acres that can be affected vary greatly depending on where your issues may appear along the system in conjunction with the system length. On a typical 100-acre irrigated field that may have 10 percent or less uniformity issues, this would equate to approximately 10 acres affected. Remember, your inputs are the same but your income from potential yield loss can be reduced by half on those 10 acres.

Pivot uniformity is extremely critical if a farmer is planning to fertigate or chemigate too. Water is one of our most important natural resources and farmers, along with UGA Extension, strive to be efficient and wise with our water through all kinds of technology. Moisture sensors, irrigation scheduling methods, remote monitoring, and last but not least regular maintenance on irrigation systems are just a few methods! Take the time to perform a uniformity test on aged pivots and address issues that can be addressed.

Figure 7. A mobile irrigation lab being conducted with visible plugged nozzles.

There are times when an audit can reveal some very interesting information. Everything from incorrectly installed nozzle packages, wrong nozzle packages, lack of flow rate needed and not to mention those pesky partially blocked nozzles that may be applying half the rate not noticed by the naked eye. If uniformity is in the 70 percent range with variations all along the pivot, it may be time for a retro fit kit. Always make it a point not to leave money on the table as mentioned before. Inspect and audit pivots to ensure every gallon of water pumped and applied is applied as uniformly as possible. Do not let poorly applied water from a center pivot be a limiting factor in your yields and profit. Contact your local UGA Extension office for more information on how to perform an audit on your farm, or arrange to have a UGA Extension representative conduct a Mobile Irrigation Lab free of charge. 

Figure 6. An example of a MIL report provided to the producer after the MIL is completed.

May/June 2021 Southeastern Peanut Farmer



Reinke and CropX Install Technology at Sunbelt Ag Expo Soil moisture monitors work with irrigation scheduling in research fields


wo leaders in precision agriculture, Reinke Manufacturing and CropX, have put down additional ‘roots’ in the research fields around the Sunbelt Ag Expo. During a recent training session for Reinke dealers, CropX illustrated how easy their field sensors were to install. Those sensors will now allow growers attending the expo in Moultrie, Georgia, an opportunity to see how they work with Reinke’s irrigation system to provide the world’s finest irrigation scheduling. Chip Blalock, executive director of the Sunbelt Ag Expo, says they are excited to try this new technology on their research farm and be able to showcase it to their farmers to use on their own operations. “Our partnership with CropX and Reinke enables us to demonstrate the latest technology in soil moisture sensing,” says Chip Blalock, executive director of the Sunbelt Ag Expo. “CropX’s new soil moisture sensors and the data that we derive from them further enhance our environmental sustainability by helping us put the right amount of water on a particular crop at the right time. This in turn optimizes our irrigation input costs while striving for maximum yields. All the while, allowing us to conserve our precious water resources.” Each day, Reinke dealers work along-side growers to optimize yields with precision irrigation application to help them save time and money. The partnership with CropX has given those dealers another tool to improve water application decisions. “This is a very important product for growers right now,” says Rob Mercer,

Reinke Manufacturing and CropX install field sensors to work with irrigation scheduling in research fields at Sunbelt Ag Expo. Pictured left to right: Mike Mills, Reinke Southeast territory manager, Jeff Burton, CropX Southeast territory manager, and Chip Blalock, Sunbelt Ag Expo executive director.

Coney Irrigation in Cordele, Georgia. “It allows them to accurately monitor their soil moisture and apply only the water they need. That will ultimately save them money by eliminating unnecessary watering and improving yields.” Working together with Reinke’s ReinCloud software platform, CropX soil monitoring sensors puts next-level crop control into growers’ hands. Each sensor leverages thousands of data points above and below ground – including soil health, crop behavior, precise weather patterns, topography maps and more – to maximize the performance of the Reinke irrigation system. “I’m so glad that we could help make these sensors available to the Sunbelt Ag Expo to let the growers in the area see how well they work with our pivots,” says Mike Mills, Reinke Southeast territory manager. “At Reinke, we know how important it is to provide growers with

technology that will have an immediate and lasting impact on their operation, helping them control their irrigation with power and precision.” During the installation, Jeff Burton, CropX Southeast territory manager, talked with dealers and answered questions about how CropX sensor worked with different crops, including corn, cotton and peanuts. “CropX makes irrigation management simple for the growers and their trusted advisors,” Burton says. ”Our hardware and software platform combined with our world-class agronomy team put everything you need in the palm of your hand to reduce irrigation costs and maximize yields by providing the crop with the optimal irrigation practices.” For more information on how Reinke and CropX work together to help growers improve their irrigation application, go to 

Valley 2021 Upgrade Program - Offer ends December 31 Valley is excited to continue offering a trade-in allowance for any unit or competitive device toward the purchase of a new Valley unit of the same type. This trade-in discount applies to webconnected remote irrigation management devices that have been active in the last 12 months. The Upgrade Program provides


a very economical way for growers to upgrade their irrigation management devices and enjoy the features, benefits and functionality of the latest Valley technology – as well as the security of a full two-year warranty on new units. All devices include the new LTE modems. The 3G modems will continue

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

to connect through 2021, but will eventually need to be switched to LTE. In anticipation of that, Valley is pleased to add ‘Modem Card Replacement’ to their trade-in program. Not only does this upgrade ensure connectivity for years to come, but also much faster command speeds and broader connectivity. 

Washington Outlook by Robert L. Redding Jr.

Chairman Bishop Raises Peanut EU Concerns with USDA Secretary The U.S. Peanut Federation (USPF) discussed with U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, European Union (EU) non-tariff trade barriers being applied to U.S. peanut imports. This involves increased levels of aflatoxin limits placed on U.S. peanut imports. It is important to note that these U.S. peanuts have passed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aflatoxin testing protocol. According to industry experts, the U.S. peanut industry follows all EU sampling and testing protocols but still has many failed lots at their destination based on further sampling and testing. U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Chairman Bishop raised this important peanut issue with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at a recent Appropriations Committee hearing. Secretary Vilsack recommended that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative work with the peanut industry to resolve its EU concerns. In addition, U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Georgia, discussed the EU peanut issue with his counterpart in the EU Parliament. UPDATE: U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss “The President’s 2021 Trade Policy Agenda.” Ambassador Tai’s testimony can be found at

USPF Requests Continuation of Federal Aflatoxin Research Funding The U.S. Peanut Federation filed Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations requests for Aflatoxin Research at the National Peanut Research Laboratory and Fort Valley State University. Congress approved $1.5 million for the aflatoxin project in Fiscal Year 2021. Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations hearings are wrapping up for this year and the committees will soon start the mark-up process. The House Appropriations Committee is projected to complete its work in June.


U.S. House and Senate Committees Hold Additional Climate Hearings The U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing in the Conservation Subcommittee on “Title II Conservation Programs: Exploring Climate Smart Practices.” Subcommittee Chairwoman Abigail Spanberger, D-Virginia, opened the hearing with comments about the importance of using the Title II Conservation section of the Farm Bill as a vehicle for agricultural climate initiatives. “As we look to scale the adoption of conservation practices, there is perhaps no greater tool available than the Farm Bill’s conservation programs,” Spanberger says. “Title II programs provide much needed technical and financial assistance to encourage the adoption of cover crops, reduced and no-till management systems, and prescribed grazing systems — among many other climate smart practices. And we have seen firsthand these programs working in central Virginia.” Hearing witnesses included: Charles Edwin “CJ” Isbell Jr., farmer, Keenbell Farm, Rockville, Virginia, Kimberly Ratcliff, ranch manager, Caney Creek Ranch, Oakwood, Texas, Keith Paustian, University Distinguished professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado and James D. Johansson, president, California Farm Bureau, Sacramento, California. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee also held a climate hearing entitled “Federal, State, and Private Forestlands: Opportunities for Addressing Climate Change.” Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow opened the hearing by stating, “Mother Nature couldn’t have designed a more effective mechanism for sequestering carbon and cleaning our air. America’s forests currently pull as much carbon dioxide out of the air every year as eliminating 54 million cars from the road according to the National Academy of Science. Climate-smart forestry policies offer both tools to reduce carbon pollution and an important opportunity to develop new revenue streams for family foresters.” UPDATE: USDA has released a 90-Day progress report on Climate-Smart Agriculture. The entire report can be viewed at: default/files/documents/climate-smart-ag-forestry-strategy-90-day-progressreport.pdf

USDA Extends Supply Chain Comment Period The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is providing an additional 30 days for public comments on the notice for Supply Chains for the Production of Agricultural Commodities and Food Products published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2021. Comments are now due by June 21, 2021. USDA is extending the comment period to allow additional time to receive information valuable to the preparation of the report required by the Executive Order on “America’s Supply Chains.” During the first two weeks of the comment period, USDA received requests from representatives of critical supply chain activities asking for additional time to provide thoughtful and thorough feedback to this notice. Written comments in response to this notice should be posted online at Comments may also be sent to Dr. Melissa R. Bailey at melissa.bailey@usda. gov.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer May/June 2021

Southern Peanut Growers Dr. Jackie Talks Peanuts on Women’s Health Month Satellite Media Tour

Southern Peanut Growers Sends Peanut Products to Chefs

May is Women’s Health Month which is a perfect time to highlight the many positive attributes of peanuts which can benefit a woman’s health. On May 7, Jacqueline Walters, MD, FACOG did just that during 28 interviews with television and online media outlets via satellite from an Atlanta studio. These interviews, sponsored by Southern Peanut Growers in conjunction with Olay and Dr. Scholl’s, had a cumulative audience of 12.7 million people and an advertising value of more than $275,000. Dr. Jackie started each segment with the saying “you are what you eat” and pointing out that peanuts are a super food with protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats in every bite. She spoke about the benefits to a woman’s health of eating one serving of peanuts five times per week. Dr. Jackie is a practicing OB/GYN in Atlanta and a well-known television personality through her many television appearances and the show “Married to Medicine” on Bravo TV. She also is the author of “The Queen V” and hosts a podcast “Dr. Jackie’s Point of V.” She is committed to combining traditional and cutting-edge medicine with a focus on the mind, body, and spirit. As a breast cancer survivor, she is a vocal proponent of regular health screenings.

Southern Peanut Growers began work on a chef loyalty program with a shipment of peanut products to 15 chefs across the Southeast. Each chef received a package containing peanut butter, fried peanuts, peanut powder, green peanut oil, a peanut butter spreader, a double walled steel cup and nutrition, farmer, and sustainability information about peanuts. Each chef is encouraged to create peanut items with the products to share with SPG on social. The chefs will receive additional communications and content from SPG over the next five months. This program is being conducted in partnership with Eat Y’all and The Peanut Institute.

Peanut Butter Noodle Nests with Spicy Orange Shrimp Ingredients: 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce 1/4 cup orange marmalade 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 tablespoon grated ginger 8 ounces shrimp, peeled, de-veined 2 12-ounce packages ramen noodles, cooked according to package directions 1/4 cup onion, diced 1/4 cup red pepper, diced

2 tablespoons peanut oil 2 cloves minced garlic 1/4 cup coconut milk 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 1/4 cup Island teriyaki sauce 2 teaspoons crystalized ginger 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or to taste) 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 cup coleslaw mix Scallions, for garnish

Marinade Directions:

Sauce Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine sriracha, marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar and grated ginger. Stir to combine and add shrimp. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and pepper in peanut oil until tender. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Reduce heat and add coconut milk, peanut butter, Island teriyaki sauce, crystalized ginger, hot pepper flakes and brown sugar. Simmer sauce 2 to 3 minutes adding additional coconut milk as needed. Pour off 1/4 cup of sauce and add ramen noodles to remaining sauce.

Southern Peanut Growers

To Serve: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook shrimp 2 to 3 minutes on each side until tender. Move shrimp to outer edge of pan and cook coleslaw mix in center just until it starts to wilt. Add wilted slaw mix to ramen sauce mixture. Divide ramen among four plates and top with 4 or 5 shrimp. Garnish with reserved sauce, peanuts and scallions if desired.

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