Tony Dill saved his best peanut crop for his last. In 2020, Dill produced nearly 7,000 pounds an acre of irrigated peanuts on one of his Terry County, Texas, farms, with only about 1.5 inches of rainfall.
But due to a fatal bout with COVID-19, Dill never got to dig or combine that final crop. He passed away October 23, 2020.
Friends, family and his community gathered along Dill's turnrows with their equipment and gathered his record crop. Many of the same people returned in November to harvest his final cotton crop.
Dill's sustainable farming methods, record yields and leadership within the agricultural and peanut community have earned him the 2021 Peanut Efficiency Award.
Each year, Farm Press, in cooperation with the National Peanut Board, recognizes four producers from across the Peanut Belt. Dill is the Southwest honoree. July 17, his wife, Donna, children and grandchildren will accept the award on his behalf at the PEA Breakfast in Panama City Beach, Florida. The breakfast is held in conjunction with the Southern Peanut Growers Conference.
The 2021 winners are as follows: Dan Ward, Upper Southeastern states; Armond Morris, Lower Southeastern states; Dan West, Midsouth states and Tony Dill, in the Southwest.
Take a minute to look through this photo gallery in memory of Tony Dill and the legacy he left for his family and the peanut industry. To learn more about his blue-ribbon crop, click here.
Ryan Dill, left, in his dad's cotton field the day before his dad passed. Ryan's wife Kristin had this image made for him and it hangs in his office. (Photo by Kristin Dill, Graphics by Kassi Arismendez)