The 2013 U.S. peanut production year can best be viewed as a contrast to many past years – rainfall was ample, even excessive in many areas of the growing belt, says Marshall Lamb, research director for the National Peanut Research Laboratory and advisor for the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards.
“A lot of our farmers are just not accustomed to growing peanuts or any other crop for that matter under such conditions,” Lamb says. In the lower Southeast, there was flooding in some fields and planting was delayed by as much as a month in some areas due to cold, wet conditions during the spring, he adds.
“It’s amazing that even with this year’s reduced acreage, the total U.S. crop will be pushing 2 million tons with and an average yield of about 3,900 pounds per acre. That’s phenomenal when you consider the weather conditions seen by producers in some parts of the U.S. peanut belt,” Lamb says.
The good yields in 2013 say a lot about the management skills and production tools being used by growers, he says.
The Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards are based on production efficiency, honoring those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. Awards are presented to growers from the Lower Southeast, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Arkansas; the Upper Southeast, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the Southwest, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The awards program has honored 14 classes of winners from throughout the U.S. peanut belt. Since the program’s beginning in 2000, the Peanut Profitability Awards have honored 42 deserving growers or farms.
Winners of the 2014 awards will receive an expenses-paid trip for two to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, set for July 24-26, 2014, in Panama City, Fla. In addition, the winners are featured in special Peanut Profitability issues of Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Delta Farm Press.
Growers may submit their nomination form directly to the National Peanut Research Laboratory, or they may submit it to their county Extension agent, peanut specialist or economist. The deadline for all nominations is April 15, 2014. Growers can access the nomination form online at southeastfarmpress.com, southwestfarmpress.com, and deltafarmpress.com. To receive a hard copy of the form, call Farm Press headquarters at 662-624-8503.