TIFTON — More than 1,800 producers were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 37th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Jan. 17, 2013, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission in cooperation with the University of Georgia.
(View photos from the event here.)
The one-day show offered farmers a full day to view the products and services of 97 exhibitors and a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented educational peanut production seminars throughout the day focusing on disease and weed management, soil fertility, peanut maturity determination and marketing options for 2013. During the afternoon, an industry seed seminar was held which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2013 and calcium application for peanuts. Tours of the UGA Tifton Campus were also held showcasing the biotech lab, breeding program and the Future Farmstead at UGA's National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory.
During the awards ceremony the Georgia Peanut Commission and Bayer CropScience presented the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award. The award is presented to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant's overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. The 2013 winner is James Hitchcock Jr. of Tennille, Ga.
This year's winner demonstrates volunteerism and service to agriculture in his area. The winner developed his passion for farming while growing up on a diversified row crop operation. Today the farming operation consists of 1,365 acres of crops including peanuts, corn, soybeans and hay. Hitchcock also raises 125 head of cattle.
On the farm Hitchcock utilizes variable rate lime on all crops. All of the irrigation pivots use low pressure nozzles and most use electrical irrigation pumps. In 2012, Hitchcock purchased two new pivots with wireless technology to monitor from his smart phone. Hitchcock also uses GPS systems to plant, spray and harvest more efficiently.
The Georgia Peanut Commission also presented awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry and promotion of peanuts across the U.S. The award recipients are: Distinguished Service Award - Jack Chastain, president of Doster Warehouse; Research and Education Award - William Branch, University of Georgia peanut breeder; Media Award - Douglas Enterprise; and a Special Award - Jonathan "Tim" Williams, former director of the USAID Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).
At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize Package donated by Kelley Manufacturing Company was presented to Ken Moore, Blakely, Ga. and Keith Wynn, Ocilla, Ga. Moore received one season's use of a new 4-row or 6-row KMC peanut combine and Wynn received a season's use of a KMC peanut inverter. Amadas Industries also provided a Grower Door Prize of $10,000 off the purchase of a peanut combine to Joel Carter, Sylvester, Ga. For photos and additional information on the Georgia Peanut Farm Show visit the Georgia Peanut Commission Web site at www.gapeanuts.com.