Lower Southeast winners — brothers James and William Terry, along with their cousin Ross Terry — all agree they work closely with the University of Florida when seeking information about peanut production, and that includes planting new varieties in their own fields.

“We’ve worked with the University of Florida and other universities in the area by planting plots,” says James.

“But we always want to plant enough so we can harvest it and say that we’ve done something, so our plots run about five or six acres each, and we grow about six to eight plots per year of different varieties of peanuts. That helps determine what we’ll grow the following year. We’ve never irrigated peanuts, so it’s always a challenge,” he says.

For chemical applications, Ross Terry says they usually follow whatever the county Extension agent recommends. “Each chemical company has a good product, but we usually go with the cheapest because you have to in this day and time,” he says.

As for the seeding rate, James said they increased to about 125 pounds per acre this year because they planted Georgia-06. “The seed was much larger than what we were accustomed to, so we felt like we had to increase the rate to get enough seed per acre.”

The Terry’s spray fungicides every 10 to 15 days after the peanuts are about 45 days old, making a total of eight to 10 sprays, according to weather conditions. They also follow a unique bahiagrass rotation system when growing peanuts.

“One reason for using bahiagrass is to help us with white mold,” says James. “Also, it helps prevent any problems with nematodes. If you’re planting behind bahiagrass, you can’t help but see some yield increase. We try to leave bahia grass in the field at least five or six years before we tear it up and plant peanuts. The benefits are great.”

Sponsors of this year’s awards include AMVAC Chemical Corporation; Arysta LifeScience; Becker Underwood; DuPont Crop Protection; Golden Peanut Company; Helena Chemical Company; INTX Microbials, LLC; Rio Tinto Minerals; Syngenta Crop Protection; National Peanut Board; Southeast Farm Press; Delta Farm Press; and Southwest Farm Press.

(To see the full production story of I.C. Terry Farms, click here. Details of Bud Bowers’ farming operation can be seen here. Joe D. White talks about his Oklahoma peanut operation in an article that can be found here).

phollis@farmpress.com