BASF Proud to Support Peanut Producers

July 23, 2011

BASF has been a long time supporter of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference and sponsor of the Friday luncheon, but this year the company also stepped up to co-sponsor the Georgia Peanut Achievement Awards when their help for the yield recognition program was needed.

“These peanut growers are the best in the country, which makes them the best in the world,” said Sandy Newell, Tech Service Rep for Alabama and Georgia. “Peanuts are important for our business and we have a product line that’s important for producers, including Cadre and Headline and Prowl H2O,”

Listen To MP3Sandy Newell, BASF (MP3)

Newell says they were happy to jump on board to co-sponsor the Georgia achievement awards with Syngenta this year, when University of Georgia Extension Peanut Agronomist John Beasley called to ask for their support. John said he appreciates the willingness of the two companies to work together for the industry. “When it comes to supporting a program like this, they step forward, they forget about the fact that they are competitors and just support growers and their county agents,” he said.

John is pictured here with statewide winner Kreg Freeman of Colquitt, who was also the Southeast Peanut Profitability Award winner this year with a yield of 6626 pounds per acre. John says 8 of the 11 growers recognized in the Georgia Achievement Club this year had yields over three tons per acre, which shows the tremendous progress producers have made since the program was originally called the “Ton Per Acre Club” when it started 50 years ago!

Listen to my interview with John here: Listen To MP3UGA Peanut Agronomist John Beasley (MP3)

13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

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Farm Bill Discussion

July 23, 2011

Pending negotiations for the next Farm Bill dominated the discussion during the last general session at the SPGC on Saturday which focused on Challenges for Agriculture.

Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN) of the freshman class in the House of Representatives for 2010 would like to see the next Farm Bill delayed until after the 2012 election. “We’ve got to make sure as we approach writing a new Farm Bill that we’re very level-headed,” he said. “Farmers understand that we’ve all got to tighten our belts a little bit, but we can’t kid ourselves and think that we can balance the budget on the back of one percent of the budget, which is what ag gets.”

Fincher is a real minority in Congress as a 7th generation cotton farmer but he is proud to be able to represent agriculture and help to educate his colleagues about the importance of the industry. Listen to my interview with Rep. Fincher below:

Listen To MP3Congressman Stephen Fincher (MP3)

Mary Kay Thatcher with the American Farm Bureau Federation is a veteran when it comes to farm bills, having been through the process six times before, and she thinks we may actually see two new Farm Bills if the debt ceiling negotiations mean the kind of cuts they are considering for agriculture. “We’re unfortunately going to take a pretty fair amount of cuts this year, probably in the range of $30-40 billion out of the commodity and conservation titles,” she said. “If indeed we lose that much money, it will sort of require us to write a farm bill in the next couple of weeks, and then to write it next year for re-evaluating what we have left and looking the other titles.”

Listen to my interview with Mary Kay here: Listen To MP3Mary Kay Thatcher, AFBF (MP3)

Bob Redding, who represents the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation in Washington DC, says there has never been a more important time for farmers to have their voices heard in the nation’s capitol.

“Farmers need to keep up with what’s going on, let their congressmen and senators know exactly how they feel and what they would like to see in a farm bill,” Bob says.

Listen to my interview with Bob here: Listen To MP3Bob Redding (MP3)

13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album


Thanks to Blog Sponsors Ag Technologies and Trimble

July 23, 2011

This is the fourth year that we have brought the Southern Peanut Growers Conference to the world through the SPGC blog, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Ag Technologies and Trimble.

I talked with someone new this year – Robbie Tabb of Ag Technologies, pictured here on the far right with the rest of the crew that attended the conference. Robbie says they love coming to the conference and talking to peanut farmers about how they can help them be more efficient. “The southern peanut grower can stand to increase yield by 300-400 pounds per acre simply by having GPS,” he told me. “That’s why we’ve grown so much in the southeast is because of our peanut growers. They’ve really seen an increase in profitability just by having the guidance on the tractor.”

Robbie says they are happy to sponsor the conference blog each year to reach even growers who may not be able to attend the meeting. “The more people we can reach, the better,” he says.

Listen To MP3Robbie Tabb, Ag Technologies (MP3)


National Peanut Board at SPGC

July 23, 2011

The National Peanut Board is always a part of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference to keep producers updated on how their dollars are being spent for research and promotion.

NPB sponsors the Saturday morning Peanut Profitability Awards breakfast, where chairman George Jeffcoat of Alabama provided information on the latest projects. Later, I caught up with Ryan Lepicier, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for NPB, for an interview about what’s new.

Ryan says they have a new ad campaign stressing the nutrition of peanuts. “The ads focus on the fact that peanuts have more protein than any nut, peanuts are a nutrient rich food, and peanuts have more anti-oxidants than broccoli, carrots, or green tea,” he said. That certainly surprised me!

Listen to my interview with Ryan below.

Listen To MP3Ryan Lepicier, NPB (MP3)

13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album


Farm Planning and Financing

July 23, 2011

Farm financial planning is just one of those tasks that many farmers want to put off as long as they can – indefinitely, if possible – but Dr. Marshall Lamb with the National Peanut Research Lab says it’s just as important as farming itself.

The major emphasis of his talk was on working with the current volatile price situation for farm commodities. “The price for cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans are at all-time, unprecedented levels,” he said, noting that even peanuts are experiencing price volatility.

“The best way to cope with it is to know from your farm plan where your break-even prices are and when you reach those break-evens, go ahead and contract something,” Marshall said. “A farmer never went broke making a profit.”

Listen to my interview with Marshall here:
Listen To MP3Dr. Marshall Lamb (MP3)

13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album


New Sponsors for 2011 SPGC

July 23, 2011

This year’s Southern Peanut Growers Conference had several new supporting sponsors, including AgLeader Technology and DuPont.

With the use of precision technology becoming more prevalent among peanut growers, AgLeader’s Russ Morman (left) says being at the conference has been good for two reasons. “Number one, it’s certainly helped to educate us as to where the peanut industry is going and number two, it’s helped to show the growers in the area that AgLeader is definitely a big power in the precision ag industry and we’re here to help them out.”

Listen To MP3Russ Morman, AgLeader (MP3)

DuPont is getting ready to introduce a new fungicide for peanut producers, as soon as it receives registration. “At DuPont we’re really excited about this new launch of Fontelis and what it can bring to peanut producers in particular,” says product manager David McAuliffe. “We expect registration to be in by the end of this year with the product to be available for use in the 2012 growing season.”

Listen to David tell you more about Fontelis in this interview.

Listen To MP3David McAuliffe, DuPont (MP3)

13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album


Bayer Belt Registered for Peanuts

July 23, 2011

Bayer Crop Science is a major sponsor of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference each year and a big supporter of the industry, so they were pleased to be offering peanut growers a new insecticide this year.

“This year we launched Belt in peanuts,” said John Hand with Bayer. “We’ve had this product labeled in several other crops previously – cotton and tobacco – and we recently received registration for peanuts.” Belt is active on most worm pests, including resistant fall armyworm populations and late-stage larvae.

Hand says they have been getting excellent feedback about Belt from peanut growers at the conference. Listen to my interview with John below.

Listen To MP3John Hand, Bayer Crop Science (MP3)

13th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album