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Farm Press names Mason Becker 2018 Southwest Peanut Efficiency winnerFarm Press names Mason Becker 2018 Southwest Peanut Efficiency winner

"My dad has always said, 'If you're going to grow peanuts, you better throw the kitchen sink at it.'"

Shelley E. Huguley

July 9, 2018

24 Slides

Saturday, July 21, Farm Press,will recognize three U.S. peanut growers during the annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference, at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach, Fla. The distinguished peanut growers from Texas, South Carolina and Alabama will be honored for their production efficiency. 

The winner for the Southwest region is Mason Becker, who farms semi-irrigated peanuts and dryland cotton in Terry County. Becker, a fourth-generation farmer, grows both conventional and organic peanuts. 

Becker, who moved to the farm in sixth grade when his mom married his dad Monty Henson,  grew up working on the family farm after school and during the summer. He credits his parents for helping him get his start in farming. "My parents were extremely supportive in leasing me equipment and co-signing my notes, which was a huge help," says Becker. "It was always a goal to be self-sufficient and not lean on my parents financially because that’s kind of a huge burden for them."

See West Texas farmer heads for the beach

In, 2011/2012, Becker secured financing for his own operation. "Since then, farming has gotten tougher with the way the weather and everything has worked out. That’s a part of farming, that’s something everybody goes through — growing pains. God’s provided a way for us when we didn’t think there was one, so I can’t complain about that."

Becker started farming in 2009 with a section and a quarter of land. "Since then, we’ve grown year by year. We started out all dryland, now I’ve got 90 percent dryland and 10 pivots."

While he's got some irrigation, Becker says it's supplemental, not enough to grow a crop. "We can't make a crop, dryland or irrigated, without rain."

In 2017, Becker grew 55 acres of organic peanuts on land he transitioned from CRP acres. Becker says he netted more on the 55 acres of organic peanuts than he did on the 240 acres of conventionals. 

See Mason Becker named 2018 Peanut Efficiency Award winner for Southwest

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions that have to be made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such a Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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