By Clint Thompson
The Georgia Peanut Commission’s annual Research Report Day is vital to the commission’s research committee in determining what projects need additional funding and what new research ideas might need to be pursued in the future, according to Donald Chase.
Chase, a Macon County, Georgia farmer and chairman of the peanut commission’s research committee, believes research from the University of Georgia (UGA), U.S. Department of Agriculture and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College helps producers and industry leaders be more efficient in their farming practices.
“I think the focus always has to be for us as farmers, how do we do our job more efficiently? How do we use less resources to do it? And ultimately, how do we remain profitable? I’d like to say we can increase profitability but that’s pretty tough in the farm environment today, but nevertheless, how do we stay in business and do what we like to do?” said Chase during the Feb. 5 Research Report Day at the UGA Tifton campus. “From the standpoint of farmers here in Georgia, peanut farmers, we invest a significant portion of the checkoff dollars that we receive in research. It’s an important thing for us as growers.”
The research programs focus on various areas of peanut production like breeding, irrigation and water management as well as disease management. UGA virologist Sudeep Bag is studying new strategies in managing tomato spotted wilt virus, which caused widespread damage to peanuts in the 1990s. UGA precision agriculture specialist George Vellidis is researching soil moisture data for irrigation scheduling.
The committee awarded $653,901 to peanut research facilities in the state during 2019. Chase said his committee will be making funding decisions in March for next year.
“We have to be thinking as new technologies present themselves, how can we adapt those new technologies to meet our needs? For instance, one of the projects was on downforce and planters. It’s something I think a lot of us have used in cotton and corn and other crops. How do we best use those to help us in peanuts? It’s something that’s now available that wasn’t available to us several years ago,” Chase said.
For more information about the Georgia Peanut Commission, see http://www.gapeanuts.com/index.php.