Mississippi peanut growers are urged to participate in the annual yield contest sponsored by the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.

There are three categories for awards, says Malcolm Broome, executive director of the organization: 100 acres to 400 acres; 401 acres to 800 acres; and 800 acres and up. There are first, second, and third place awards for each category.

“Our board of directors established the contest in order to recognize outstanding growers,” Broome says, “and to make other growers aware of their accomplishments so they could talk with them about the practices used to achieve those yields.

“There are so many variables that can affect yield, such as variety, planting date, soil type, cultural practices, proper harvesting, and weather — just to name a few.”

Because of the variations throughout the state, Broome emphasizes that growers should not be concerned about how their yield may stack up against other growers. “Go ahead and enter — you just might win,” he says.

The deadline for entries is 5 p.m., Jan. 24. Entries should be mailed to MPGA, P.O. Box 284, Petal MS 39465. An independent CPA will determine the winners.

Entries should be for all peanuts grown in 2013 within a Mississippi county or counties. The highest yield winner in each category will compete for the highest yield statewide award. Failure to supply buying point and FSA verification will disqualify the entry.

Winners will receive plaques and cash awards as follows: $500 for first place in each category; $300 for second place in each category; and $100 for third place in each category.

Awards will be announced at the annual meeting of the association at Hattiesburg, Miss., Feb. 12-13.