Organizers of the Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award have reviewed production data from previous winners to arrive at a “Top 10 Keys to Peanut Profitability.” This list of successful production practices is being presented in descending order in Southeast Farm Press and on this website, with sponsorship provided by DuPont Crop Protection. The Peanut Profitability Awards, based on production efficiency in whole-farm situations, is entering its 13th year and is administered by Marshall Lamb, research director for the National Peanut Research Laboratory, and his staff.

While most of the “Top 10 Keys to Peanut Profitability” thus far have consisted of very specific production practices, our No. 3 listing is different in that it describes a concept, one that is proving to be increasingly critical in farming today.

Proactive farm management is an all-encompassing term that takes into account timeliness, and it appears to be a common trait among winners of the Peanut Profitability Award.

“Many farmers said they wanted to keep a very close eye on what they did on the farm so that they never got behind, and that’s how we classified this management style,” says Staci Ingram, technician at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga.

“It means staying on top of disease management, weed control and other production practices. If you ever get behind in any one aspect, then you’ll fall behind in everything on the farm,” she says.

During the history of the Peanut Profitability Awards Program, farmers have become more proactive and timely, adds Marshall Lamb, research director at the laboratory.

“I think it’s a new mentality of the growers who are farming today. It’s a new management level. It’s almost a generational thing, and farmers now are more empowered to do more through cell and satellite technology and scouting techniques. They’ve got a better toolbox with which to be proactive,” he says.

Proactive management has become especially critical in peanut weed control, with the advent of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed.

Whenever a single weed pest has the ability to produce up to a half-million seed, being timely and proactive is paramount, says University of Georgia Extension Weed Scientist Eric Prostko.