The winning growers will be honored during the 16th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City, Fla., July 24-26. Each of this year’s winning growers represents one of the three major U.S. peanut production regions — the Southwest Region, the Upper Southeast Region and the Lower Southeast Region. Farm Press established the awards program in cooperation with the Southern Peanut Growers Conference and the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

This year’s honorees include:

Southwest Region — Isaac, John and George Guenther, Gaines County, Texas.

Lower Southeast Region — Owen Yoder, Orrville, Ala.

Upper Southeast Region — Billy Bain, Dinwiddie, Va.

The Peanut Profitability Award isn’t a typical high-yield award for a grower’s selected plots or acreages, says Greg Frey, publisher of Farm Press Publications. “Our Peanut Profitability Award winners are in a class by themselves. They balance production costs with excellent yields and quality across their entire peanut production operations. It recognizes the entire farming operation” says Frey.

The 2014 Peanut Profitability Award winners, as those in past years, controlled costs while maximizing yields and profits, says Frey. “When peanut producers achieve this balance, it’s important that we recognize them for their accomplishments, and that’s the aim of this program” he says.

But recognizing deserving growers isn’t the sole purpose of the Peanut Profitability Award, he adds. “Education is an equally important component of the program. There’s much to learn about successful peanut production, and Farm Press helps to make this information available by publishing numerous articles throughout the year focusing on marketing strategies and maintaining high yields and efficiency. Growers also benefit each year from reading about the productions practices of our award winners.”

Lamb and his staff at the National Peanut Research Laboratory evaluate entries each year for the Peanut Profitability Award. Lamb designed the nomination form that is used by growers in determining production efficiency.

The Peanut Profitability Awards, explains Lamb, are based solely on production efficiency — honoring those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. The awards are based on a producer’s entire farm operation, and not just on individual farms or small plots.

Lamb explains that profit is a function of three equally important factors – yield, price and cost.

“More importantly, this program helps other farmers learn from what our winning producers did so that they can improve their individual operations. In addition to being a recognition program, it’s also an excellent educational program. We started this program a long time ago, and I’ve had growers tell me they have learned from our educational efforts. That’s gratifying, and it’s really the reason we’re doing this in the first place.”

For more information on this year’s winners and their production practices, see the articles in this issue of Southeast Farm Press. Sponsors for this year’s Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award include Agri-AFC, AMVAC Chemical Corporation, Arysta LifeScience, BASF, DuPont Crop Protection, Golden Peanut Company, Helena Chemical Company, John Deere, the National Peanut Board, Southeast Farm Press, Delta Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.