New research aims to help the South Georgia peanut industry

New research aims to help South Ga. peanut industry
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:03 PM EST
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - On Wednesday, the Georgia Peanut Commission gave over 50 southwest Georgia peanut growers, professors and students the chance to showcase the latest reports and newest information available on peanut research projects.

Peanut growers learned about new technology, research and data that can be used to help manage viruses and diseases found in peanuts.

Things like fungicides that farmers can apply to their crops were discussed. As well as the breakdown of culture practices to help peanut farmers, economically, produce more crops.

For breeders, they mentioned a robot that is being created to help improve their output.

Tim Brenneman, plant pathology professor at the University if Georgia, told WALB the use of technology is vital when it comes to things like spotting viruses and precision planting.

“Technology is what keeps us in business. I’ve been doing this almost 40 years, and just in that time, the yields here in Georgia have gone up about 50%. And that’s the type of increase that keeps us in business and keeps us competitive.” Brenneman said.

Joe Boddiford, a local peanut grower, says the most common technology used is autosteer.

“It allows less trained people to be able to put nice straight rows out there to keep things going. Keeps the precision planting, you know, the seeding. It’s important to spray those seeds correctly,” Boddiford said.

During one presentation, it was stated that tomato spotted wilt virus is a very troubling disease for peanut farmers. They believe it won’t go away.

They discussed how technology plays a role in combating the disease.

“There is no easy silver bullet answer for that virus. And it takes a lot of different incremental practices. We’re bringing everything to barrel that we know from the varieties, new planting technologies and chemistry that can be used.” Brenneman said.

Peanut growers say they plan to use the research and reports that were given to help them during their harvest season to produce better crops.