The two major advantages of knowing your exact cost and the inputs you used to grow a crop come when dealing with lending agencies and regulatory agencies.

If you know exactly what it cost to grow a crop last year and for the past several years, you will have a really good idea of what you will need to grow one next year.

Better, a banker can look at your cost and compare these to projected yields and crop values and make a better estimate on how much money to lend and at what rate.

“Regulatory agencies can look at the cost data and determine how much of what chemical you used on your crops. From a time standpoint, having that information available, rather than trying to find it when you’re busy trying to do other things can be important,” Johnson adds.

 “Another aspect of the AgriEdge program that I like is the service they provide. In a year like this past one, having access for someone with in-depth crop analysis abilities can be invaluable because we see problems that don’t usually come up in years with extreme weather,” Perrow says.

”Making the transition from grower to consultant was a natural one,” he adds.

“I’ve scouted cotton since I was in the ninth grade and have only missed two growing seasons of  scouting.” 

After finishing college in 1981, he began a cotton scouting business. He worked with cotton for 20 years or so, andthen when peanuts came into prominence in the early 2000s, he began working with growers to figure out the best ways to grow the crop in South Carolina.

Now, peanuts have become his primary crop, though he continues to do a lot of insect management work in cotton. 

“There’s always something new with cotton pests. I had someone recentlycall me and tell me they have had more stink bugs in their cotton than they’ve ever seen. Turns out it wasn’t stink bugs, but kudzu bugs, but there are plenty of those, too,” Perrow laughs.

For peanuts, Perrow is the go-to guy for every aspect of production. “We got into peanuts the first year after the peanut program ended, and peanut production in our area of the state has continued to grow and thrive” he notes.

“We are very fortunate that our soils are ideal for peanuts, and we made phenomenal yields and continue to have good yields. Jay Chapin and his team at the Edisto Research Center was a big help in getting us through the first few years, and we got a lot of help from people in the industry who  know a great deal about growing peanuts,” he says.

In 2011, South Carolina farmers planted more than 75,000 acres of peanuts, and Perrow expects acreage to increase more dramatically next year.