The growth and success of Georgia's peanut industry has been no accident guided by 50 years of the GPC leadership. Georgia peanut growers have seen yields increase from 1,000 pounds per acre in 1961 to over 3,500 pounds per acre today — a 350 percent increase.

"This is a testament to our research and education efforts and our growers," Chase says.

"These new higher yielding and disease resistant varieties we are developing are available to all the other states, but Georgia farmers simply do an excellent job of controlling weeds, pests and diseases, and managing cultural practices and resources.”

The research programs have focused on economics; conservation methods; irrigation and water management; peanut breeding for higher yield and improved quality; pests, weed and disease management; and allergen free peanuts.

The GPC is stepping up efforts by funding research on the development and evaluation of new cultivars with an emphasis on disease resistance genetic markers, looking at Global Positioning System (GPS) managed systems and remote sensing using the automated weather and climate network data, improving methods to determine maturity, improving planter and planting issues, and looking for answers for the burrower bug nemesis.

Chase says it is obvious the peanut industry must continue to press for public or government support as we have lost thirteen peanut scientists in Georgia over the past 10 years. Five of them were critical peanut scientists and Extension positions lost in the past five years that have not been replaced.

"Ten years ago with 13 additional scientists we would have had 50 project proposals submitted for funding verses the 27 we received this year," Chase says.

"The Georgia Legislature has committed to funding one of these positions this year but, realistically, we feel we will have to fund a larger portion of the jobs ourselves in the future if, indeed, these critical research and extension positions are filled at all.


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 For a list of approved FY 2012-13 research projects, visit: