Sunday, September 27, 2009

Busy Weekend

This has been a busy weekend.

Yesterday I was at the Plains Peanut Festival. There was a good crowd and the Peanut Commission had fresh fried peanuts to let folks sample as well as picking up recipe brochures.

There were also grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the Buying Points Association and samples of Jif, Planters, and Mars products.

There was the usual parade and of course President and Mrs. Carter were there.

Here are some pictures from Plains.

Then today we had a Television crew in shooting a feature on peanuts for the program America's Heartland.

They were on Armond Morris' farm and got to see maturity testing, digging, picking and got to sample boiled peanuts.

Here are some pictures from their visit.

You can also go to You Tube and find videos on the Peanut Commission page.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wrapping up the Georgia Peanut Tour

The weather was pleasant this morning for the third and final day of the Georgia Peanut Tour.

We stopped at two farms including this one in Irwin County to see peanut digging and picking.
We also stopped at Morris Ag Center to hear from Armond Morris who is a farmer and agribusinessman and also the Chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The Georgia Peanut Tour concludes this evening with a tour of the Lang Research Farm which is part of the University of Georgia's College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
Be sure to check out the video on YouTube. You can link to it through the GPC website at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More of Day Two

Since my last post we have been to a tractor and equipment dealer and a weather monitoring station and now are at Doster Warehouse in Rochelle, GA. Doster is a family owned shelling business which is owned and operated by Jack and Norma Chastain. They are gracious hosts and are solid performers in the peanut industry. Just all around good folks.

On the Tour

This morning we have done a visit in Jeff Davis County of a field demonstration plot that Tim Varnerdore is doing with Will Ellis, a local farmer. They have either been too wet or too dry but that is farming. The crop still has a way to go as does much of Georgia's crop. We have about 135 folks on the tour right now.

I have just uploaded a couple videos to YouTube and you can access those through our website,
We have just been touring the facilities at Southeastern Gin and Peanut Company. This is a farmer owned buying point which is state of the art. They have a phenomenal system and want a nice surprise, wireless Internet that works.
The AC on the bus went out on the way to the first stop but the bus company had two busses here at Southeastern by the time we had just gotten here well.

Georgia Peanut Tour Day One Recap

Day one had the Hot Topics seminar and you guessed it the hot topic in the peanut industry is still food safety.

We heard from speakers from the CDC, UGA Food Science Department, JLA which is a major testing lab in the food industry, and also from John Beasley who farmers kind of view as Mr. Peanut in Georgia. John did a good job of reminding the rest of the industry that farmers do a good job of adopting good management practices but also that peanuts still grow in water and dirt. Both of those things need to be put in check at the farm and once peanuts are harvested water and dirt become the enemy of peanut processing.

Another presentation which was quite informative was done by Dr. Stanley Fletcher on peanut crop specifics and the economic health of peanut farms across the country. Of 22 Representative farms the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness has developed from Virginia to New Mexico only three or four find them selves in a positive situation. All the rest are in the red and Fletcher says this is not a sustainable situation if it goes on long term.

Today the field visits start. Can't wait to see some farmer hospitality and have some fresh boiled peanuts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Georgia Peanut Tour

Be sure to watch my blog and also the Peanut Commission blog and web page for updates on the Georgia Peanut Tour. Check out for links.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August has flown by

I can't believe August is already over. It has flown by.

Crops are progressing well in most places though still way behind and that won't end until harvest. I was by fields in Tift, Turner, Wilcox, and Dodge counties yesterday and there are some peanuts which look really good and some which are spotty and haven't half way made it to covering the middles.

The best looking peanuts seem to be the ones planted conventional tillage and on a bed like we used to plant peanuts. Not that many of those there anymore because we just can't afford to grow them that way.

I can also tell you that weeds are a problem and production budgets in the future will have to include hand weeding. A lot of folks have seen this increase their cost $50 or more an acre.

It will be an interesting year and the future will also be very interesting.