Doing as much of the work themselves as possible is a key to making an efficient peanut crop, say Isaac, John and George Guenther. They hire out only what’s necessary and even hoe peanuts themselves if they can’t find enough labor. They do all their own planting, plowing, digging, harvesting and mechanical work. They built their barn, dug the wells for irrigation systems, did the electrical work and built their homes.
That commitment to efficiency was a key factor in the brothers being named the 2014 Southwest Region Peanut Profitability Award winners.
Rotation also helps. The three brothers farm together as I & J Farms, working 1,500 acres of land—mostly cotton and peanuts.
They plant most of their acreage to cotton, but they like peanuts. “We farm as much peanut acreage as we can,” says George, 25, the youngest brother. “We just do better with peanuts. We look at the potential to make three-bale cotton or 5,000 pounds of peanuts and think we can make the yield on peanuts easier than we can with cotton.
“I don’t know if we are better at growing peanuts or just worse at growing cotton.”
“Peanuts have traditionally been our best crop,” John adds. “It’s our money crop.”