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Peanut farmers need coaches, tooPeanut farmers need coaches, too

Fundamentals help make farmers champions in their fields.

John Hart

July 7, 2023

2 Min Read
Colt Woody Brandon Woody
Colt and Brandon Woody of Aiken, S.C. are the Peanut Efficiency Award winners for the Upper SoutheastJohn Hart

Even top athletes like current Masters Tournament champion Jon Rahm need a coach to help them win tournaments. The same is true for champion peanut farmers: they too need a coach to help them achieve top yields.

Rahm knows the fundamentals of golf and certainly has natural talent that allows him to win golf championships, but he still turns to a coach to help him with his swing and to find a winning strategy. Top peanut farmers also understand the fundamentals of successful peanut production, but they also know they can’t achieve stellar yields without a little help.

A common denominator of Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winners over the years is a farming strategy that includes a good rotation program, timeliness, and attention to detail. These fundamentals help them become champions.

This is certainly the case for Colt and Brandon Woody of Aiken, S.C., the 2023 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award winners for the Upper Southeast. The brothers credit timeliness, good rotations, and attention to detail for their success in achieving stellar yields.  

The Woodys grew their first peanut crop in 2019 and achieved an astonishing average yield of 7,235 pounds per acre on 560 acres that first year. They won the South Carolina peanut yield contest that year. They continued to win the peanut yield contest in 2020 and 2021 and won yet again in 2022 with an average yield of 6,523 pounds on 654 acres.

The Woodys are talented and skilled farmers and do the hard work to achieve success. But they also credit their crop consultant, Tim Kelly with Southeastern Crop Consulting in Barney, Ga., who encouraged them to give peanuts a try. Kelly scouts for them, provides their fungicide and fertility prescriptions, and offers them guidance along the way. He’s a coach who helps these top peanut farmers achieve champion yields.

Farming, like golf, is a complicated game. And achieving stellar yields can be far more daunting than winning top golf tournaments like the Masters. Just as Rahm turns to his coach Dave Phillips to help him with his swing, champion farmers often turn to crop consultants to find the strategies to maximize profitability and yield. It’s a winning strategy.

Good crop consultants like good coaches know the fundamentals, and their knowledge and expertise can benefit any farmer. A good crop consultant, like a good coach, is also an encourager and motivator who provides much needed support to farmers who face daunting challenges every day.

A farmer can still be a top performer without a crop consultant, but a supportive guide with the latest knowledge on agronomy, pest management, and crop protection products certainly makes the journey easier. Champions know they need a coach, whether they grow peanuts or compete in golf tournaments.

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Farm Management

About the Author(s)

John Hart

Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press

John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry.  John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.

John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a  graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge.  At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.

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