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Southern crop yields are up, up and away

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Improved varieties are given much of the credit for record-breaking crop yields, but good management remains a key ingredient.

So what does this tell us? For one, improved hybrids definitely can take a punch and still produce decent or even above-average yields. But it also says volumes about what is possible if these genetically modified varieties are combined with ideal growing conditions and meticulous management. This is when records are broken.

In a study conducted in southwest Georgia’s Baker County in 2012, Extension agents and specialists  looked at the genetic potential of the widely planted Georgia-06G cultivar. The theory was that even with yields of 4,000 to 5,000 pounds per acre, much more was possible, and the theory was proven correct.

The study revealed that if growers follow a three to four-year rotational plan, utilize new peanut fungicides, use a computer irrigation scheduler such as IrrigatorPro, provide adequate fertility, and use deep tillage, 7,000 pounds of peanuts per acre is a realistic goal in most years.

The key was to change production practices to accommodate the yield potential of the improved cultivar. Three peanut farmers who adopted the recommended production practices increased yields from 5,500 pounds per acre – not too shabby – to 7,000 pounds.

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