The 2012 peanut production season was literally one for the record books, with growers throughout the U.S. making record-high yields and production. 

Improved peanut varieties combined with ideal growing conditions led to a record-high production, exceeding 3 million farmer stock tons with an average yield of 4,192 pounds per acre, the highest ever and almost 1,000 pounds more than the average.

Having accomplished such a feat, many in the industry are asking, “What’s next?”

With some producers yielding an astounding 7,000-plus pounds per acre in 2012, has peanut production peaked or are there improvements and advances yet to be realized?

For the answer to this question, it’s important to take a look at what is in the peanut research pipeline — those problems, issues and initiatives currently being addressed that will lead to even more efficient and profitable peanut production.

For the next several days, we will present ‘Pipelines to Peanut Profitability,’ sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, which takes an in-depth look at these areas of research, what they could mean to growers, and when producers can expect to see practical, on-farm applications of this research.

To find these articles simply click on the peanut button at the top of this page.

 “For the U.S. to make 4,200 pounds per acre from 1.6 million acres is astounding, but we can still improve through research and technology,” says Marshall Lamb, research leader at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., and advisor for the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards.

 

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“No one believed we could average more than 2 tons per acre, but we did it with excellent weather conditions, improved varieties and methods and practices that are the result of years of research.

“But there is still more to come — there are tools in the pipeline that promise to make our growers even more productive and efficient,” says Lamb.

While peanut research encompasses a multitude of disciplines, there are several key areas that are likely to impact peanut production in the near-term future.

Lamb and his staff have identified the following areas to be included in “Pipelines to Profitability”:

• Improved cultivars. It’s no coincidence that improved peanut yields have followed the release of improved cultivars.

Collaborative efforts between university and USDA breeding programs aim to continue that trend. A peanut breeding and genetics program at the National Peanut Lab is working to develop cultivars with desirable improved traits adapted to all peanut-producing regions, in addition to enhancing elite peanut germplasm through conventional and genomic approaches.

Also, plant breeding programs at the University of Georgia and the University of Florida continue to release varieties that offer high yields along with disease and nematode resistance.