What is in this article?:
- Tim McMillan: Peanut Profitability Award winner for Lower Southeast
- Had to replace tobacco
- Varietal information from other farmers
- Maturity determination
- Tim McMillan of Berrien County, Ga., is the lower Southeast Peanut Profitability Award winner for 2013.
- The Peanut Profitability Award is based on production efficiency.
- McMillan and his brother Steve are the seventh generation on their south Georgia farm.
TIM MCMILLAN of Berrien County, Ga., is the Lower Southeast Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award winner for 2013.
Varietal information from other farmers
“With a buying point, I get to talk with a lot of farmers about how different varieties are performing.”
The No. 1 factor for controlling disease pressure in peanuts is rotation, he says. “I probably don’t have the best rotation with my three-year program; four or five would be better. But whenever I evaluate it, I still think we’re making more money from having peanuts every third year rather than every fourth year.”
He uses a moldboard plow, which he feels is important for minimizing both disease and weed pressure. For disease control in 2012, he used Headline at 40 days, four sprays of Provost starting at 60 days, and finished with Bravo.
This year, he plans on trying Proline at 30 or 35 days and then starting with the Provost program, adjusting as needed for weather conditions.
“We plant conventionally, harrowing the land a couple of times, and then we moldboard it. If it’s dryland, we incorporate Sonalan with a tillavator. The only difference between dryland and irrigated is that on irrigated land I spray Prowl, Strongarm at a half rate, and Valor at 3 ounces pre-emergence, and I then irrigate it in.
“With dryland, I incorporate Sonalan, come in and apply Valor and Strongarm pre-emergence, and then hope and pray we get a rain. The yellow herbicide and then Valor and half-rate Strongarm usually carry us until I can spray Cadre. That usually takes care of any weed problems.”
In most years, McMillan doesn’t have any insect problems in his peanuts. “I didn’t spray for anything last year. In some years, we have problems with lesser cornstalk borers and have to apply Lorsban, but we scout for them. We usually have a lot of foliage, so we don’t mind a small amount of worm damage.”
His peanuts are 40 percent center pivot irrigated and 20 percent cable tow, and he uses the checkbook method for scheduling irrigation.
“We’re in an area called the Gulfstream Trough, and we can’t get deep irrigation water, so we rely on farm ponds and sand wells. Go down about 120 feet and there will be a layer of phosphate sand, and there’s water there.
“We can’t get but 70 to 120 gallons of flow, so the wells feed the ponds. We have one pond with six wells around it. There is deep water, but it’s so deep it’s not practical to get it.”