UGA salutes Georgia's highest-yielding peanut farmers
By: Clint Thompson, UGA CAES
August 14, 2018: Fifteen of Georgia’s top peanut producers were honored this past weekend at the annual Georgia Peanut Achievement Club meeting on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The meeting recognizes Georgia’s highest-yielding peanut growers every year.
“When you’re talking about yields from 5,800 pounds to 6,800 pounds, that’s still almost 2,000 pounds more than the state average. You can’t argue with that,” said Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist.
UGA’s peanut research and Extension programs were key components for many of the farmers’ successful 2017 peanut seasons.
“When you’re talking about Extension, we’ve got one of the best,” said Bucky Tyler, a winner in District 4. Tyler produced 5,976 pounds of peanuts per acre on 162 acres in Irwin County, Georgia.
Tyler also thanked Irwin County Extension Coordinator Phillip Edwards for always “going to bat” for farmers.
“It’s a big honor. We appreciate (UGA) holding the event. We thank the good Lord for sending us rain and making a crop,” he said.
Eddie Miller of 4 Miller Farms in Seminole County, Georgia, was also a state winner. He produced 6,674 pounds of peanuts per acre on 931 acres. He credited UGA Extension specialists and county agents for helping him successfully grow this abundant yield.
“Without the (specialists and county agents), we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Miller said.
Monfort said that 90 percent of peanuts grown this year are Georgia-06G peanuts. UGA peanut breeder Bill Branch released Georgia-06G, the variety grown the most in Georgia fields, in 2006.
During the meeting, the University of Georgia Peanut Team also held an open forum meeting with peanut producers and industry leaders Saturday in hopes of improving an industry that surpassed $624 million in farm gate value in 2016, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Seed quality, potential loss of insecticides, fungicide programs and water requirements were some of the main points of emphasis during the morning discussion.
Monfort said that the peanut achievement program would not be successful without the continued support of the peanut industry. BASF, Bayer Crop Science, AMVAC, the American Peanut Shellers Association, the Georgia Peanut Commission and the National Peanut Buying Points Association, along with the UGA Peanut Team, support the Georgia Peanut Achievement Program each year.
This year’s Georgia Peanut Achievement Club winners are:
100-299 acres: Matt Bryan; Baker County; 228 acres; 6,892 lbs/acre
300-699 acres: Chloe Rentz; Baker County; 324 acres; 6,865 lbs/acre
700-plus acres: 4 Miller Farms; Seminole County; 931 acres; 6,674 lbs/acre
District 1 winners
100-299 acres: Hillside Farms/Mike Newberry; Early County; 255 acres; 6,718 lbs/acre
300-699 acres: Chase Farms Inc.; Macon County; 524 acres; 6,432 lbs/acre
700-plus acres: Jimmy Webb; Calhoun County; 903 acres; 5,821 lbs/acre
District 2 winners
100-299 acres: John Gaines Jr.; Baker County; 168 acres; 6,839 lbs/acre
700-plus acres: Jerry Jr. and Jeff Heard Farms; Baker County; 1,078 acres; 5,859 lbs/acre
District 3 winners
100-299 acres: Daniel Newberry; Jefferson County; 331 acres; 6,473 lbs/acre
300-699 acres: C&S Farms, Scott Moore; Dooly County; 388 acres; 6,473 lbs/acre
700-plus acres: Kerry and Lisa Hodges; Screven County; 735 acres; 5,893 lbs/acre
District 4 winners
100-299 acres: Bucky Tyler; Irwin County; 162 acres; 5,976 lbs/acre
300-699 acres: Robert Davison; Brooks County; 442 acres; 5,605 lbs/acre
300-699 acres: Chip Dorminy; Irwin County; 637 acres; 5,633 lbs/acre
700-plus acres: Nellwood Farms/Hal Cromley; Bulloch County; 1,111 acres; 5,813 lbs/acre
Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.