The commission approves $293,780 in peanut research projects
The Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors has approved $293,780 in new research project funding for the 2014-15 research budget year. This action was taken during the commission’s March board meeting. The research projects approved include 28 project proposals submitted from the University of Georgia and USDA Agricultural Research Service.
“We are proud of our close relationship and partnership with research institutions in the state,” says Donald Chase, GPC Research Committee chairman. “Peanut growers are pleased to invest in the future by providing monetary support for research and education that has continued to demonstrate a return on our investment. Due to the continuing success enjoyed by Georgia peanut farmers over the past few years, we were able to again increase research funding for 2014.”
Georgia’s peanut growers invest $2 per ton annually toward GPC programs which includes research, promotion and education. Research comprises 22 percent of available funds in the commission’s budget.
“Growers have improved cultivars, technologies and better access to information today than ever, allowing them to be more efficient due to research that has been done ten to fifteen years ago,” says Jamison Cruce, GPC director of research & education. “With ever-increasing production and input costs, we must continue our funding trend to ensure the future of the peanut farming in Georgia remains viable and economical.”
The growth and success of Georgia’s peanut industry is unparalleled in agronomic standings these past five decades since GPC was established. The state average yield per acre in 2013 was the second highest in history, following behind 2012 by only a few hundred pounds. A national study conducted by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service shows peanut yields as a whole increasing 23 percent from 2008-2012. All other major row crops were between 2-4 percent, respectively.
“This is a testament to our research, education efforts and our growers,” Chase says. “These new higher yielding and disease resistant varieties that have been developed are available to Georgia farmers who simply do an excellent job of controlling weeds, pests, and diseases, and managing cultural practices and resources.”
The research programs primarily focus on peanut breeding for higher yield and improved quality; economics; conservation methods; irrigation and water management; pests, weed and disease management; and peanut allergy research. However, GPC is stepping up their efforts by funding research focusing on the development and evaluation of new cultivars with an emphasis on disease resistance genetic markers and using long range internet connectivity to improve management on the farm.
For additional information and a complete list of the research projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission, visit www.gapeanuts.com.