By Clint Thompson
The Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) and University of Georgia Peanut Team are educating Georgia Peanut Tour attendees this week about peanut production and why it’s important in helping feed the world.
How are peanuts produced? What is aflatoxin? How are they graded following harvest? These are some of the questions Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist, and his colleagues are answering during this week’s tour in South Georgia.
“This tour has been going on for quite some time. It was built around trying to educate the manufacturers or people that buy peanuts, so the general public that buys peanuts that put it in products, this was an idea to bring them to the farm and give them an idea of why we use this. Why do we put pesticides on our crop and why do we have to irrigate our crop? Why can’t we be organic 100%?” Monfort said. “You’ll see on this tour very quickly if we didn’t have the chemistries we have, we wouldn’t make a crop because the weeds, diseases, insects potentially would eat our lunch.
“We couldn’t feed as many people as we do.”
The tour started on Wednesday and will continue through Thursday. It introduces attendees to all parts of peanut production. Stops on Thursday include Hayes LTI in Camilla, Georgia, where they will learn more about fertilizer hauling equipment; and the Birdsong Peanut Shelling Plant in Sylvester, Georgia, where attendees will learn how peanuts are cleaned, shelled and shipped.
“It gives us a chance to have one-on-one conversations with people that don’t realize we are good stewards of what we do, the pesticides we use, the equipment practices, cultural practices, whatever it is,” Monfort added. “We’re trying to conserve the way of life that we have.”
This is the first year the Georgia Peanut Tour has been held since 2019.