Jeffcoat said 20 percent of peanut farmers’ checkoff dollars go back to participating states for production research. “It’s always been our long-range plan to use research dollars to increase growers’ profits.”

Those funds are particularly important now, he added, since university research funds have been cut significantly in recent years. “We hope these (NPB) funds will fill the gap,” he said.

Variety development is one of the most critical research efforts. “Improved varieties would be my first priority for research. We want varieties that work better for us,” Jeffcoat said.

Lamb is interested in water.

“Water use efficiency is the number one priority for research,” he said. “That’s especially true with the drought in Texas.”

He said Texas growers should be able to make more peanuts with the same amount of water or the same amount of peanuts with less water.

But water issues are not unique to the Southwest. “We have intermittent drought in the Southeast as well.”

He said “anything we can do to reduce the cost of production,” will be a research priority. Genetics will play a big role in improving efficiency, he said. Varieties with improved disease resistance and other production advantages will be part of ongoing research and breeding efforts. “Improved genetics will be critical.”

Lamb said looking into nutriceutical aspects of peanut breeding will also be important. “We know peanuts are excellent sources of protein and a good bang for the buck for Moms, but we want to increase vitamins and minerals and get nutriceutical characteristics in peanuts.”

Griggs said conference organizers were more than pleased with conference turnout and participation in educational opportunities.

“We are very pleased,” he said. “Turnout is exceptional with more than 600 registered. We have a strong program with presentations from research to economic trends to industry information on the current crop and last year’s crop and the effect on consumption.”