Peanut growers from throughout the Southeast, Virginia-Carolina and Southwest production regions are encouraged to participate in the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award for 2002. The awards program is entering its third year, already having honored two classes of winners.

“Peanut growers who consistently find innovative methods of improving production efficiency are deserving of special recognition,” says Farm Press Publisher Mike Gonitzke. “So, Farm Press, in cooperation with the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, has established this award. Since the program was begun in 2000, the Peanut Profitability Awards have honored six deserving winners. Considering the impressive yields made this past growing season, I'm confident that the winners for 2002 will be equally deserving of this prestigious award.”

The awards are based on production efficiency, honoring those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. Awards are presented to growers from the Southeast Region, including Alabama, Georgia and Florida; the Virginia-Carolina Region, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the Southwest Region, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Winners of the 2001 awards were honored for production efficiency achieved during the 2000 growing season. They included Wayland Spruill, Windsor, N.C.; Harris Devane, Cuthbert, Ga.; and Neil Reimer, Seminole, Texas. The winning nominations for the 2002 awards will be based on production efficiency during the 2001 growing season.

Winners of the 2002 awards will receive an expenses-paid trip for two to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Fla., set for July 2002. They also will receive limited-edition signed and numbered prints from noted watercolor artist Jack DeLoney.

In addition, the winners are featured in special Peanut Profitability issues of Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.

Acting as Program Advisor for the Peanut Profitability Award is Marshall Lamb, economist with the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga. Lamb, who was instrumental in the creation of the awards program, has designed a nomination form to be used by growers in determining production efficiency.

“While achieving consistently high yields and grades is important, it's only part of the equation to maximizing profits. The elements of production cost and price are equally important factors,” says Lamb.

Assisting with the awards program is an Advisory Board comprised of Extension peanut specialists, county agents, economists and commodity group officials from the major peanut-producing states. They help to distribute nomination forms within their respective states and educate potential nominees about the program.

Farm Press editors, working with Lamb, select the regional winners from the pool of state nominees. Members of the Advisory Board, along with Lamb, are charged with periodically reviewing the awards program to insure consistency.

Data entered on a farmer's nomination form, notes Lamb, should be based on an entire farm operation and not on individual farms or small plots. Actual per-unit costs and returns information will remain confidential to Lamb and members of the Advisory Board.

Growers may submit their nomination form directly to the National Peanut Research Laboratory, or they may submit it to their county Extension agent, peanut specialist or economist. The deadline for all nominations is April 15, 2002.

Growers may obtain nomination forms from Farm Press headquarters at (662) 624-8503, Farm Press field editors, Advisory Board members, co-sponsors of the program and other partners in the Peanut Profitability Award Program. The nomination form also can be accessed via the Internet at SoutheastFarmPress.com and SouthwestFarmPress.com. In addition, it can be linked from various commodity group websites.

While recognizing deserving growers is important, it's only one part of the program, says Gonitzke. “A second major component of the Peanut Profitability Program is education.

Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press accomplished this in the past year by publishing more than 60 articles on peanut production efficiency. It also is our hope that farmers from throughout the Peanut Belt will learn from the production practices of growers who receive the award.”

Farm Press will continue to publish articles in the coming year focusing on peanut production efficiency. Each article will bear the Peanut Profitability Program logo so that it can be recognized easily by readers.

The 2002 Peanut Profitability Award Program Officials and Advisory Board

Program Coordinator

Paul L. Hollis, Editor, Southeast Farm Press
166 North Gay Street
P.O. Box 1415
Auburn, AL 36831-1415
(334) 826-7451

Program Advisor

Marshall Lamb, Economist, USDA National Peanut Research Laboratory
1011 Forester Drive
Dawson, GA 31740
(229) 995-7417

Advisory Board Lower Southeast

Nathan B. Smith, Agricultural Economist, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service
Rural Development Center
15 RDC Road
P.O. Box 1209
Tifton, GA 31794
(229) 386-3512
John Beasley, Agronomist, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service
Rural Development Center
15 RDC Road
P.O. Box 1209
Tifton, GA 31793
(229) 386-3430
Tim Hewitt, Agricultural Economist, University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service
NFREC
3925 Highway 71
Marianna, FL 32446
(850) 482-9904
Dallas Hartzog, Agronomist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Wiregrass Research & Extension Station
Highway 134 East
P.O. Box 217
Headland, AL 36345
(334) 693-2010

Upper Southeast

David Jordan, Crop Science Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University
4207 Williams Hall
Box 7620
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695
(919) 515-4068
Bob Sutter, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association
P.O. Box 8
Nashville, NC 27856-0008
(252) 459-5060
Charles Swann, Agronomist, Virginia Tech
6321 Holland Road
Suffolk, VA 23437
(757) 657-6450
Russell Schools
Virginia Peanut Growers Association
103 Triangle Court
P.O. Box 356
Capron, VA 23829
(804) 658-4573
Dewitt Gooden, Extension Peanut Specialist, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
2200 Pocket Road
Florence, SC 29506
(834) 669-1912 Extension 203

Southwest

Robbie Blount, Southwest Texas Peanut Growers Association
P.O. Box 252
Seminole, TX 79360
(915) 758-2050
Ron Sholar, Agronomist, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service
503 Ag Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-6028
(405) 744-9616
Floyd McAllister, Roosevelt County, N.M., Extension Agent
705 E. Lime St.
P.O. Box 455
Fort Portales, NM 88130
(501) 356-4417