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Looking for peanut efficiency and a nostalgic return

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The Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Awards over the last two decades have been given to the winners during the annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

Many growers say they didn’t realize just how efficiency their peanut operations were, and other growers found they might could do even better.

The Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award is based on production efficiency. With it, we are honored to honor growers who produce the highest yields by using their way to use inputs the best way. The confidential program is setup to help the producer look at the entire peanut operation and not on individual farms or small plots.

We've had outstanding winners during the program's more than two decades, including last year's winners. Kirk Jones said mentors and timeliness are key to his Virginia farm. Alabama's Mullek family delivered sustainable peanuts with their unique, no-till system. The Martin family have yielded generations of Texas efficiency winners. Van Hensarling, who has grown peanuts for 23 years on the south Mississippi farm, looked at every aspect — rotation, fertility, weed control, the fungicide program, and harvest efficiency.

The Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Awards over the last two decades have been given to the winners during the annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City Beach, Fla., each year. We pay for the winner and a guest to attend the conference and to enjoy the best beaches in the country. As we all know, though, 2020 was a monkey wrench of a year. The 2020 conference was delayed until 2021. We are looking forward to getting back to that good industry conference, which is now slated for July 15-17.

Awards are presented to growers from the four major production regions: Lower Southeast, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida; the Upper Southeast, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; the Southwest, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; and the Delta, including Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri.

“The elements of production cost and price are equally important factors in our evaluation of nominees. Marketing expertise definitely has given an edge to recent winners of the award,” says Marshall Lamb, research director for the National Peanut Research Laboratory and primary advisor of the PEA program.

We try to wrap up nominations by the end of April and contact winners soon after. If you want to find out more about PEA or submit a nomination, email Marshall or me. My email is brad.haire@farmprogress.com. Marshall's email is marshall.lamb@usda.gov. We're happy to talk about the PEA program and anything related.

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