Extension Programming for a New Peanut Production Region in Georgia.
John P. Beasley Jr., Glendon H. Harris, Eric P. Prostko, Steve L. Brown, Robert C. Kemerait, E. Jay Williams, and Nathan B. Smith. Univ of Georgia, Crop and Soil Sciences Dept., P.O. Box 1209, Tifton, GA 31793
Georgia is the number one peanut, Arachis hypogaea L., producing state in the USA, accounting for over 45% of the acreage and production in 2005. The Peanut Title of the 2002 Farm Bill shifted the marketing of peanut from a supply management program (quota) to a market loan program. Under the quota program, producers without quota poundage assigned to their farm received a much lower price per ton than producers with quota poundage. Under the market loan program, all producers receive the same price per ton. Producers in seven southeastern Georgia counties that previously had no quota poundage began adding peanut as one of their crop enterprises. These counties had veteran county extension agents, but none of the agents had experience with peanut. The University of Georgia Extension Peanut Team began to develop programs that would educate and provide peanut production information to extension agents and producers. A series of “shade tree” meetings were organized to cover basic production issues in the field. Harvest clinics were scheduled to cover the critical aspects of timely harvest. Extension agents in these counties were provided with additional in-service training options to increase their expertise in peanut production. After just four years, acreage continues to increase in these counties and the extension agents are now better equipped to handle field diagnostics of peanut production problems.