2001 Farm Press presentations to be made in July Producers throughout the U.S. Peanut Belt are encouraged to participate in the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award for 2001. The award was presented for the first time this past summer at the annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Fla.

"Peanut growers who consistently find innovative methods of improving production efficiency are deserving of special recognition," says Farm Press Publisher Mike Gonitzke. "So, Farm Press, in cooperation with the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, has established this award. Winners from each of the three U.S. peanut-producing regions were honored in the first year of the program, and I'm confident that the winners for 2001 will be equally deserving of this prestigious award."

The awards are based on production efficiency, honoring those growers who produce the highest yields at the lowest cost per acre. Awards are presented to growers from the Southeast Region, including Alabama, Georgia and Florida; the Virginia-Carolinas Region, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the Southwest Region, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Winners of the 2000 awards were honored for production efficiency achieved during the 1999 growing season. They included Joe Cobb, Windsor, N.C.; Steve Moore, Blakely, Ga.; and James Martin, Wellman, Texas. The winning nominations for the 2001 awards will be based on production efficiency during the 2000 growing season.

Winners of the 2001 awards will receive an expenses-paid trip for two to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Fla., set for July 2001. They also will receive limited-edition signed and numbered prints from noted watercolor artist Jack DeLoney. In addition, the winners are featured in special Peanut Profitability issues of Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.

Acting as Program Advisor for the Peanut Profitability Award is Marshall Lamb, economist with the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga. Lamb, who was instrumental in the creation of the awards program, has designed a nomination form to be used by growers in determining production efficiency.

"While achieving consistently high yields and grades is important, it's only part of the equation to maximizing profits. The elements of production cost and price are equally important factors," says Lamb.

Assisting with the awards program is an Advisory Board comprised of Extension peanut specialists, county agents and economists from the major peanut-producing states. They will help to distribute nomination forms within their respective states and educate potential nominees about the program.

Farm Press editors, working with Lamb, will select the regional winners from the pool of state nominees. Members of the Advisory Board, along with Lamb, are charged with periodically reviewing the awards program to ensure consistency.

Data entered on a farmer's nomination form, notes Lamb, should be based on an entire farm operation and not on individual farms or small plots. Actual per-unit costs and returns information will remain confidential to Lamb and members of the Advisory Board.

Growers may submit their nomination form directly to the National Peanut Research Laboratory, or they may submit it to their county Extension agent, peanut specialist or economist. The deadline for all nominations is March 15, 2001.

Growers may obtain nomination forms from Farm Press headquarters at 662-624-8503, Farm Press field editors, advisory board members, co-sponsors of the program and other partners in the Peanut Profitability Award Program. The nomination form also can be accessed via the Internet at: nprl.usda.gov/form.htm.

Growers using the computer version of the form can submit it directly to the National Peanut Research Lab via electronic mail.

While recognizing deserving growers is important, it's only one part of the program, says Gonitzke. "A second major component of the Peanut Profitability Program is education.

"Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press accomplished this in the past year by publishing more than 50 articles on peanut production efficiency. It also is our hope that farmers from throughout the Peanut Belt will learn from the production practices of growers who receive the award."

Officials and Advisory Board Program Coordinator Paul L. Hollis, Editor, Southeast Farm Press 166 North Gay Street P.O. Box 1415 Auburn, AL 36831-1415 334-826-7451

Program Advisor Marshall Lamb, Economist, USDA National Peanut Research Laboratory 1011 Forester Drive Dawson, GA 31740 229-995-7417

Advisory Board Lower Southeast Nathan B. Smith, Agricultural Economist, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Rural Development Center 15 RDC Road P.O. Box 1209 Tifton, GA 31794 229-386-3512

John Beasley, Agronomist, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service Rural Development Center 15 RDC Road P.O. Box 1209 Tifton, GA 31793 229-386-3430

Tim Hewitt, Agricultural Economist, University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service NFREC 3925 Highway 71 Marianna, FL 32446 850-482-9904

Dallas Hartzog, Agronomist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System Wiregrass Research & Extension Station Highway 134 East P.O. Box 217 Headland, AL 36345 334-693-2010

Upper Southeast David Jordan, Crop Science Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University 4207 Williams Hall Box 7620 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695 (919) 515-4068

Charles Swann, Agronomist, Virginia Tech 6321 Holland Road Suffolk, VA 23437 (757) 657-6450

Dewitt Gooden, Extension Peanut Specialist, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service 2200 Pocket Road Florence, SC 29506 (834) 669-1912 Extension 203

Southwest Robert Lemon, Agronomist, Texas A&M University Cooperative Extension Service Minnie Heep Center SCSE-351C College Station, TX 77843-2474 409-845-2935

Ron Sholar, Agronomist, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service 503 Ag Hall Stillwater, OK 74078-6028 405-744-9616

Floyd McAllister, Roosevelt County Extension Agent 705 E. Lime St. P.O. Box 455 Fort Portales, NM 88130 501-356-4417