This year’s winners include:

Lower Southeast Region: Kreg Freeman, Colquitt, Ga.

Upper Southeast Region: Vic Swenson, Mt. Olive, N.C.

Southwest Region: Cornelius Enns, Seminole, Texas.

Like in past years, the nominees and winners of this year’s Peanut Profitability Awards overcame adversity during the growing season to emerge as great representatives of their industry, says Greg Frey, publisher of Farm Press Publications.

The distinction of being named a Peanut Profitability winner is reserved only for those producers who can balance production costs with excellent yields and quality, says Frey.

“Many factors combine to make a successful peanut farming operation, and our 2011 winning class excelled in this delicate balancing act. In addition to controlling costs, they also maximized profits — the keys to any successful enterprise,” says Frey.

And while recognizing deserving growers is important, he says, education is an equally important component of the program. Farm Press accomplishes this by publishing numerous articles throughout the year focusing on production efficiency in peanuts. Growers also will benefit from reading about the production practices of this year’s award winners, says Frey.

Entries for the Peanut Profitability Award Program are evaluated by Lamb and his staff at the National Peanut Research Lab. 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 they can improve their individual operations. In addition to being a recognition program, it’s also an excellent educational program.”

The educational mission of Peanut Profitability is more important than ever this year, says Lamb.

“As we enter 2011, in one of the most extremely dry years that the Peanut Belt has seen in years, from west Texas through south Georgia, what we’ve learned from these winners and from prior-year winners can be put to use on the farm to successfully manage through a very difficult year.

“And even with better market prices, inputs costs are not going down. So growers shouldn’t let high prices blind them to the need for continuing to manage costs.”

For more information on this year’s winners and their production practices, see the articles in this issue of Southeast Farm Press.

Sponsors of this year’s awards include Arysta LifeScience, Becker Underwood, Devgen (Enclosure), Golden Peanut Company, John Deere, National Peanut Board, Syngenta, U.S. Borax, Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Delta Farm Press.

phollis@farmpress.com