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Peanut Profitability winners show ‘human’ factor still critical in farming

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Table of Contents:

  • Peanut Profitability winners show ‘human’ factor still critical in farming
  • Biggest pitfall

• It’s important to remember, especially in years when we have record-shattering yields — these crops aren’t growing all by themselves, at least not yet.

As a society, we’ve become enthralled with technology, and agriculture is certainly no different.

From new hybrids to smartphone-controlled equipment, farmers have readily adopted tools to ease their workloads and improve production.

And while no one is debating the innovations brought by this technology, it’s the nature of some of these advances that the human factor many times is reduced or taken out of the equation altogether. So it’s important to remember, especially in years when we have record-shattering yields — these crops aren’t growing all by themselves, at least not yet.

This truth was brought home to me recently when I was discussing the production practices of this year’s Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award winners with Marshall Lamb, research director with the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., and advisor for the awards program.

More often than not, whenever the subject comes up of the record-breaking peanut yields of 2012, much of the credit goes to improved varieties, and they’ve surely played a major role. But Lamb isn’t buying that disease-resistant varieties or any other technology deserves the credit for this past year’s remarkable production.

Rather, he says, all of the credit goes to U.S. producers. The current group of U.S peanut farmers is better than any technology that could ever be imagined, says Lamb.

“Our farmers and their management capabilities are as big a part of the success this past year as improved varieties or anything else. We knew 10 years ago, when this current farm bill was passed that it was a production farm bill, and that farmers had to be able to produce to survive.”

The current group of growers is proof of this, he says, adding that he doesn’t think they’ll become complacent because of their accomplishments this past year.

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