Atlanta Rhythm Section Rocks SPGC

July 23, 2012

Playing their hits like “So Into You,” “Champagne Jam,” “Imaginary Lover,” and “Doraville,” the Atlanta Rhythm Section rocked the final night of the 14th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

The final night was sponsored, as always, by Syngenta and was so enjoyable that Congressman Frank Lucas and his wife stayed until the very end.

Syngenta’s Lyle Stewart, pictured here with Rep. Lucas, gave a list of his top ten reasons to attend SPGC and why Syngenta has been a sponsor for all 14 years of the conference. Among those reasons:

1. Panama City Beach is a great place to be in July!
6. It’s fun to watch Ken, Don, Malcolm and Randy run around like chickens with their heads cut off!
7. Learn more about newest technologies like CruiserMaxx Peanuts
9. Helps us figure out new ways to hopefully feed 9 billion people by 2050
10. To be with some of the finest people in the world

Find out all ten and more about CruiserMaxx Peanuts in this interview with Lyle:
Listen To MP3Syngenta’s Lyle Stewart (MP3)

Watch the folks at SPGC get so into ARS.

Check out the SPGC photo album

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Peanut Gift Shop Does Brisk Business

July 23, 2012

Peanut families were loving the peanut belts, photo frames, wallets and flip flops on sale at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, thanks to the efforts of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

“Through the years, the Georgia Peanut Commission has seen the farmers that really love the cotton belts, so we checked out the company that makes those and was able to work out a peanut belt,” said newlywed Joy Carter-Crosby with the GPC. “We actually introduced the products in January at our Georgia Peanut Farm Show and since then it’s just taken off.”

Joy says the next step is to offer the peanut-branded items on-line at the gapeanuts.com website.

Listen to my interview with Joy:
Listen To MP3Joy Carter-Crosby (MP3)

Check out the SPGC photo album


Keeping An Eye on Government Regulations

July 23, 2012

Agriculture is fighting a constant battle to stay one step ahead of proposed regulations that keep making raising food more challenging.

During the Saturday general session on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Washington, American Farm Bureau Director of Environment and Energy Policy Paul Schlegel talked with peanut growers about the ever growing crop of ugly government regulations. “Chief among the things we care about at the moment are a pending permit program EPA’s implementing that relates to pesticide applications,” said Paul, noting they have language in the House farm bill addressing that issue. Also of concern is EPA expansion of waters they can regulate, Atrazine, immigration, and agricultural dust regulations.

Schlegel says Farm Bureau is pleased with the transportation bill recently passed by Congress that basically contained everything agriculture wanted. “That was a big win for us,” he said.

Listen to my interview with Paul:
Listen To MP3Paul Schlegel, AFBF (MP3)

Check out the SPGC photo album


Ag Technologies/Trimble Continue as Blog Sponsors

July 23, 2012

Since it started in 2008, this Southern Peanut Growers Conference blog has been sponsored by Ag Technologies and Trimble. We sincerely appreciate their support in helping to provide both those in attendance and those unable to attend the conference with photos and audio interviews of the various participants.

I spoke with Robbie Tabb and Christy Bryan, both with Ag Technologies, about why they continue to provide this support for the conference. “Because the southeastern peanut grower is a staple to our business,” Robbie says, noting that they provide the accuracy that growers need to plant and dig peanuts.

This was Christy’s first year at the conference and really her first event with Ag Technologies since joining the company just two months ago. “A lot of our customers are here and it gives us a chance to bond with them outside of the field,” she said.

Listen to my interview with Robbie and Christy:
Listen To MP3Ag Technologies’ Robbie Tabb and Christy Bryan (MP3)

Check out the SPGC photo album


Georgia High Yielders

July 23, 2012

Each year at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, the University of Georgia Peanut Team recognizes high yielding growers in the state with the Georgia Peanut Achievement Awards, sponsored by BASF and Syngenta.

This year’s overall high yield award for the state went to John Gaines and Ricky Dowdy of Baker County with 7267 pounds per acre on 304 acres, which he says he accomplished with good rotation, a good spraying program and good land. “The Georgia extension agents greatly help,” John said. “They do research that we can use and that helps us a heap.”

Listen to my interview with John here: Listen To MP3John Gaines (MP3)

Jason Tyrone and Brian Corbet of Tycor Farms in Lake Park were high yield winners for 2011, the first year they ever grew peanuts, with 4984 pounds per acre on 709 acres. Jason says they normally grow vegetables on the operation but decided to go with a different rotation last year. “We still grew some vegetables, but we had some land we needed to do something with and we picked peanuts,” he said. They were surprised by their high yield and they are growing peanuts again this year.

Listen to my interview with Jason here: Listen To MP3Jason Tyrone (MP3)

UGA Extension peanut agronomist Dr. John Beasley, pictured here at the conference with his wife and daughter, says this was their 50th consecutive year of recognizing the highest yields in the state.

“It’s a great honor to recognize these great farm families,” he said. “We just try to help the county agents help these growers. We learn from them and a lot of growers try to emulate what they do.”

Listen to my interview with Dr. Beasley here: Listen To MP3Dr. John Beasley (MP3)

Check out the SPGC photo album


BASF Proud to Support Peanut Growers

July 23, 2012

BASF has been a proud supporter of the Southern Peanut Growers Conference since the beginning 14 years ago. The company, which makes products for peanut growers like Headline fungicide, sponsors the luncheon and speaker for the event as well as providing other support for this very important group of farmers.

“Making our customer more successful really is what we do,” says Dan Watts, BASF district manager for the southeast. The company also helps sponsor the Georgia Peanut Achievement Awards, which recognizes farmers who produce outstanding peanut yields in the state. Dan is pictured here second from the left with most of the rest of the BASF team in attendance this year at SPGC.

Listen to my interview with Dan here: Listen To MP3Dan Watts, BASF (MP3)

Check out the SPGC photo album


State Peanut Group Updates

July 23, 2012

We already heard from Don Koehler about the conference and what is going on with the Georgia Peanut Commission, now we’ll hear from the other three states that are a part of the Southern Peanut Growers.

Alabama Peanut Producers Executive Director Randy Griggs is very pleased with this year’s record attendance and sponsors, as well as a fantastic program. “It shows support for the future of peanuts in the southeast,” he said. “It also shows that we’ve become the premier conference as far as the peanut industry is concerned.”

Randy says the crop looks good in Alabama. “We’re off to one of the best starts than we’ve had in 3-4 years,” he said. “After last year everybody wants a good crop but it hasn’t been made yet. We’re cautiously optimistic.”

Listen to my interview with Randy here: Listen To MP3Randy Griggs, Alabama (MP3)

Our hosts for the conference each year in Panama City Beach are the Florida Peanut Producers, and executive director Ken Barton says their crop is also looking good. “We’re well underway in the panhandle and north Florida, actually a little head of schedule,” Ken said. “In the southern part of our growing region, they’ll actually begin harvesting in just a few weeks.” The southern part of the region is in central Florida.

Ken says they did have some issues in upper central Florida with the significant rainfall from the tropical storm that went through a few weeks ago that is causing some disease pressure, but all in all “a 180 degree turn from this time last year.”

Listen to my interview with Ken here: Listen To MP3Ken Barton, Florida (MP3)

Last, but certainly not least, Malcolm Broome with the Mississippi Peanut Growers says they have been very happy to be part of the SPGC for the last three of the conference’s 14 years. “We’ve had a good turnout and good comments on the program,” Malcolm said, noting that his growers really like being able to network with producers from other states.

Mississippi has increased peanut acreage from 15,000 to 50,000 in the last couple of years and this year’s crop looks good.

Listen to my interview with Malcolm here: Listen To MP3Malcolm Broome, Mississippi (MP3)

Check out the SPGC photo album