Looking ahead to the 2011 crop Lamb sees intense competition for crop acreage, especially considering the current price of cotton, corn and soybeans. “Right now, we have an excess supply of farmer stock peanuts, but with the quality problems experienced this year, we don’t know how that’ll translate into edible supply for products such as peanuts. I’m not sure at this point we’ll have an over-supply of edible peanuts. The fact that peanuts are a food ingredient makes it more difficult to judge strictly on supply and demand numbers at this point in the year.”

Based on what he has seen from this past year, Lamb says the winning nominees for the 2011 Peanut Profitability Award definitely will come from irrigated production. “I would expect the nominees to be irrigated producers who made exceptionally high yields, yields that would set them apart from others,” he says.

Lamb, who has been advisor for the awards program since its inception, says it’s a great honor for growers to be nominated for and then to win the Peanut Profitability Award. “One of the components of the Peanut Profitability Program is to educate growers, and I see this as an ideal year for doing that. Our winners should be able to help other growers by telling them how they survived and prospered in some of the most adverse weather conditions we’ve seen in recent memory.”

Peanut Profitability has set a standard of excellence during the past 11 years, and it has never been an easy honor to earn, but another fine group of nominees is expected for 2011,” says Lamb.

The Farm Press Peanut Profitability 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 Lower Southeast, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi; the Upper Southeast, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the Southwest, including Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The awards program has honored 11 classes of winners from throughout the U.S. Peanut Belt. Since the program’s beginning in 2000, the Peanut Profitability Awards have honored 33 deserving growers. The Farm Press Peanut Profitability Awards Program began with the first-ever Southern Peanut Growers Conference in conjunction with the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

Winners of the 2011 awards will receive an expenses-paid trip for two to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, set for July of 2011 in Panama City, Fla. They also will receive limited-edition signed and numbered prints from noted Southern watercolor artist Jack DeLoney.

In addition, the winners are featured in special Peanut Profitability issues of Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Delta Farm Press.

Lamb, who was instrumental in creating the criteria for the awards program, designed the nomination form 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.

The grower nomination form for the Peanut Profitability Award is very extensive, notes Lamb, and considers both fixed and variable costs.

“We’ve had nominees in this program with higher yields than most, but they did not correctly manage their cost structure. We’re looking at per-unit costs, and how effectively farmers manage their cost structures,” he says.