Peanut growers from throughout the Southeast, Virginia-Carolina and Southwest production regions are encouraged to participate in the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award for 2004.

The awards program is entering its fifth year, already having honored four classes of winners.

“Peanut growers who consistently find innovative methods of improving production efficiency are deserving of special recognition,” says Farm Press Publisher Greg Frey. “So, Farm Press, in cooperation with the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, has established this award. Since the program's inception in 2000, the Peanut Profitability Awards have honored 12 deserving winners.

The awards are based on production efficiency, honoring those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. Awards are presented to growers from the Southeast Region, including Alabama, Georgia and Florida; the Virginia-Carolina Region, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the Southwest Region, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The winning nominations for the 2004 awards will be based on production efficiency during the 2003 growing season. Winners of the 2004 awards will receive an expenses-paid trip for two to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Fla., set for July 2004. They also will receive limited-edition signed and numbered prints from noted watercolor artist Jack DeLoney.

In addition, the winners are featured in special Peanut Profitability issues of Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.

Acting as Program Advisor for the Peanut Profitability Award is Marshall Lamb, economist with the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga. Lamb, who was instrumental in the creation of the awards program, has designed a nomination form to be used by growers in determining production efficiency.

“While achieving consistently high yields and grades is important, it's only part of the equation to maximizing profits. The elements of production cost and price are equally important factors,” says Lamb.

The grower nomination form for the Peanut Profitability Award is very extensive, notes Lamb, and considers both fixed and variable costs.

The awards program, he says, is based on a producer's entire peanut operation. “We're not talking about small plots in select fields. Rather, we look at the overall management of these growers. This includes yields, costs and marketing management for the entire farm, and most of our winners come from sizable farms,” says Lamb.

Assisting with the awards program is an Advisory Board comprised of Extension peanut specialists, county agents, economists and commodity group officials from the major peanut-producing states. They help to distribute nomination forms within their respective states and educate potential nominees about the program.

Data entered on a farmer's nomination form, notes Lamb, should be based on an entire farm operation and not on individual farms or small plots. Actual per-unit costs and returns information will remain confidential to Lamb and members of the Advisory Board.

Growers may submit their nomination form directly to the National Peanut Research Laboratory, or they may submit it to their county Extension agent, peanut specialist or economist.

The deadline for all nominations is April 15, 2004.

Growers can access the nomination form via the Internet at southeastfarmpress.com and southwestfarmpress.com. In addition, it can be linked from various commodity group Web sites.

To receive a hard copy of the form, call Farm Press headquarters at (662) 624-8503 or contact any member of the Advisory Board.

A second major component of the Peanut Profitability Program is education. Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press accomplished this in the past year by publishing more than 60 articles on peanut production efficiency. It also is our hope that farmers from throughout the Peanut Belt will learn from the production practices of growers who receive the award.”

Farm Press will continue to publish articles in the coming year focusing on peanut production efficiency. Each article will bear the Peanut Profitability Program logo so that it can be recognized easily by readers.

The 2003 Peanut Profitability Award Program Officials and Advisory Board:

Program Coordinator

Paul L. Hollis, Editor, Southeast Farm Press
166 North Gay Street P.O. Box 1415
Auburn, Ala. 36831-1415
(334) 826-7451

Program Advisor

Marshall Lamb, Economist, USDA National Peanut Research Laboratory
1011 Forester Drive Dawson, Ga. 31740
(229) 995-7417

Advisory Board

Southeast

Nathan B. Smith, Agricultural Economist, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service
Rural Development Center
15 RDC Road
P.O. Box 1209
Tifton, Ga. 31794
(229) 386-3512

John Beasley, Agronomist, University of Georgia
Cooperative Extension Service
Rural Development Center
15 RDC Road
P.O. Box 1209
Tifton, Ga. 31793
(229) 386-3430

Tim Hewitt, Agricultural Economist, University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service
NFREC
3925 Highway 71
Marianna, Fla. 32446
(850) 482-9904

Dallas Hartzog, Agronomist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System Wiregrass Research & Extension Station
Highway 134 East
P.O. Box 217
Headland, Ala. 36345
(334) 693-2010

Virginia-Carolina

David Jordan, Crop Science Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University
4207 Williams Hall
Box 7620
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, N.C. 27695
(919) 515-4068

Bob Sutter
North Carolina
Peanut Growers Association
P.O. Box 8
Nashville, N.C. 27856-0008
(252) 459-5060

Joel Faircloth, Agronomist, Virginia Tech
Tidewater Ag Research
& Extension Center
6321 Holland Road
Suffolk, Va. 23437
(757) 657-6450
Russell Schools
Virginia Peanut Growers Association
103 Triangle Court
P.O. Box 356
Capron, Va. 23829
(804) 658-4573

Jay Chapin, Extension Peanut Specialist
Edisto Research and Education Center
64 Research Road
Blackville, S.C. 29817
(803) 284-3343

Southwest

Robbie Blount
Southwest Texas
Peanut Growers Association
P.O. Box 252
Seminole, Texas 79360
(915) 758-2050

Ron Sholar, Agronomist
Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service
503 Ag Hall
Stillwater, Okla. 74078-6028
(405) 744-9616

Floyd McAllister, Roosevelt County, N.M., Extension Agent
705 E. Lime St.
P.O. Box 455
Fort Portales, N.M. 88130
(505) 356-4417