TIFTON, Ga. — A Norman Park grower was named the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer at last week’s Georgia Peanut Farm Show in Tifton.

Elton Baldy received the annual award, which is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF.

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. Baldy’s farming operation includes 750 acres of cropland where he grows peanuts, soybeans, corn, wheat, hay and vegetables, according to a press release from the Georgia Peanut Commission.

On the farm, Baldy has implemented a variety of important stewardship practices including cover crops, strip tillage, crop rotation and using non-drift nozzles when spraying. Baldy also uses Peanut Rx to help with managing diseases in his peanut crop. He continues to incorporate multiple modes of action when applying herbicides to assist with weed control. Baldy also utilizes irrigation with low pressure nozzles to conserve water and grid soil sampling to identify areas of a field that need improvement.

Baldy was active in 4-H and FFA through high school. He continues to be active in many agricultural organizations including Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Young Farmers. He currently serves as a board member on the board of directors for the Colquitt County Farm Bureau. In addition to farming, Baldy provides auction services for the sale of farm equipment, livestock and other aspects of the ag industry.

Baldy received a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July.

In addition to the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to individuals representing each of the commission’s five districts. The GPC board members started this award to honor farmers each year who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see the peanut industry in the state of Georgia continue to be the highest quality, according to the commission’s press release.

This year’s winners include: District 1 - Ike Newberry, Arlington; District 2 - Chip Dorminy, Fitzgerald; District 3 - Charles Smith Jr., Wadley; District 4 - James ‘Roy’ Malone Sr., Dexter; and District 5 - Marvin and Dania DeVane, Cuthbert. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and a $100 gift card from Agri Supply.

The Georgia Peanut Farm show, held Thursday, Jan. 18, at the University of Georgia Conference Center, is a way to bring farmers and researchers together, said Joe West, assistant dean of the UGA Tifton Campus.

“Georgia is producing right at half of the peanuts to supply the United States,” he said.

“We have educational sessions where our peanut researcher and extension specialists give farmers the latest and greatest information. It’s also a clearing house for a lot of the different technologies. We have equipment dealers, genetics companies, chemical companies. A farmer can come here and talk to people from across a broad cross-section of the industry.

“It’s about as complete a cross-section of the peanut industry as you could have in one place in one day.”

The show opened at 8:30 a.m. with approximately 1,200 attendees were able to look at exhibits, equipment and the latest research.

Attendees were also able to listen in to seminars on peanut production and seeds, with topics ranging from seed quality and quantity for the 2018 planting season, irrigation management, insects, fertility, disease and nematodes to varieties currently in production and growing advice.

(Eve Guevara of The Tifton Gazette contributed to this report.)

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