On nearly half of the U.S. production, Georgia peanut yields are consistently higher than other states while maintaining and improving quality. "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, pest and disease, and managing cultural practices and resources."

These research programs primarily focus 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. However GPC is stepping up their efforts by funding research focusing 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 that we must continue to press for public or government support as we have lost 10 key — and three of them critical — peanut scientists and Extension positions in the past five to seven years that have not been replaced. " Prior to eight to 10 years ago we would have had 45 to 50 projects proposals submitted for funding verses the 31 received this year," Chase says.

"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."

For additional information and a complete listing of the research projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission visit http://www.gapeanuts.com.