Please feel free to check out our photo albums with the links below. When you click on them you’ll go to the album, be able to watch the photos as a slide show or individually click on them to get a variety of sizes you can download. We hope you enjoy them.
Don Koehler, Executive Director, Georgia Peanut Commission, helped me wrap things up for the conference. As of this point in time everyone has a free afternoon before our concluding dinner this evening. I’ll be adding some photos from that event to the photo album. You can also find another set of photos taken by Joy Carter, Georgia Peanut Commission on her photo album with this link.
Don says the conference attendance has been consistent with previous years in spite of the economy and gulf oil worries. He says farmers are all positive and that’s the best word to describe the conference. The mood is upbeat and even with some areas needing some rain. He’s looking forward to conference number 13 next year. The move to an end of the week program has been very positive so that’s likely to be the schedule next year too.
Listen to my interview with Don here:
Don Koehler Interview (MP3)
Showing farmers how to get involved in renewable energy was Steve Flick, Show Me Energy Cooperative. Steve thinks his participation on the program was a two way educational experience since he learned a lot about peanut farming while he was here.
Steve says they have shown that farmers can produce renewable energy on a local level and peanut farmers in the south can do the same thing. He says it will allow them to make productive use of unproductive land. He says they are in control of their own destiny. With the organizational structure that exists it’s an opportunity to learn how to build and operate a plant just like they’ve done.
Listen to my interview with Steve here:
Steve Flick Interview (MP3)
Bioenergy was a big topic this morning with a pair of presentations. First up was Dennis Wiese, Growth Energy.
Dennis says they need to get outside the cornbelt on this issue so he was happy to have a chance to speak to farmers in the southeast. Growth Energy is an ethanol advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. He’s hoping that farmers here will get involved, especially by joining Growth Force. It’s a free membership to help advocate for renewable energy. You can hear more about what Growth Energy is working on in my interview.
Listen to my interview with Dennis here:
Dennis Wiese Interview (MP3)
Providing an outlook of what’s going on in Washington, DC was Congressman Bobby Bright, AL (pictured left). He didn’t know it was coming but he was presented a special award today from the Alabama Peanut Producers Association.
The award was presented for his work on the halt of the Department of Transportation ban on peanuts in public transportation. So the award is called the “Ban No Peanuts Award.”
Josh says that technology has become more solutions based so they’re moving more toward implement control after being focused on guidance for so long. So they’re introducing wireless technology which will allow growers to connect to the home or to their consultant. He says that precision ag is driving efficiency and that drives profitability for farmers. All farms are different so he says they go to a farm and basically write a prescription customized for that farm.
Listen to my interview with Josh here:
Josh Pitts Interview (MP3)
The new Dean of the College of Agriculture at Auburn University, Bill Batchelor, joined us this morning. I spoke to him about his new position on a break.
Bill comes from an ag engineering background and sees dealing with the realities of the economic downturn as a priority for the school. He says that they have to learn how to do more with less so they’ll be looking at ways to maximize their resources. He sees peanuts contributing significantly to human nutrition as it grows in importance along with the population.
Listen to my interview with Bill here:
Bill Batchelor Interview (MP3)
One of the sponsors of the conference is the National Peanut Board. I spoke with Marie Fenn, President and Managing Director, about the ways the Board is investing farmer dollars. She says it’s on two fronts.
One is production research. She points out that the profitability winners announced here are using technology and information that comes out of research projects funded by the NPB. Another area is marketing and promotion where they focus on five areas of business development that include retail and college/university dining, an area in which they see big gains and a lot of growth in the future. You can hear a lot more details in my interview with Marie.
Listen to my interview with Marie here:
Marie Finn Interview (MP3)
The Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards were announced this morning. A winner is selected from each of the three main peanut producing regions. Pictured are (l-r) Richard Rentz, South Carolina, Greg Frey, Publisher, Farm Press, Rusty Strickland, Texas and Al Sudderth, Georgia.
I spoke to each of the winners and asked them what the award means to them, what makes them profitable and how their crop looks now.
Listen to my interview with Al Sudderth, Southeast Region Winner, here:
Al Sudderth Interview (MP3)
Listen to my interview with Richard Rentz, Upper Southeast Region Winner, here:
Richard Rentz Interview (MP3)
Listen to my interview with Rusty Strickland, Southwest Region Winner, here:
We heard from National Peanut Research Laboratory, representative, Wilson Faircloth during a question and answer session all about research and production. He was part of a large panel for growers to pose questions to.
Wilson says that he’s working on irrigation since we’re at that peak time when peanuts need moisture. He says they’re refining models and encourages to use a guide for proper management of their irrigation system. This is important since peanuts are not as determinate in their water use as other crops. Another project he’s involved in hopes to create a method to determine when to harvest peanuts for maximum yield. Maturity is a major issue and he says they’ll be releasing a computer model later this season using growing degree days and other things to help make this decision.
Listen to my interview with Wilson here: