Upper Southeast Region — Mike Belch

Mike Belch’s family doesn’t have the largest farm in Northampton County, N.C., so efficiency and attention to detail are all the more important to their success.

They grow cotton, grains, and peanuts. Except for one year, they have produced peanuts every year since 1980. They are known and respected as successful peanut farmers, and that success has earned them the 2016 Peanut Efficiency Award winner for the upper Southeast region.

 

Lower Southeast Region — Matt Bryan

A farmer needs two essential things: (1) a farm, or land to farm, and (2) faith. That’s the simple reason why Matt and Tonya Bryan named their family operation Faith Farms.

They farm (and have faith) in Baker County, Ga., located in the southwest corner of the state — the top runner-type peanut producing region in the U.S. Their hands-on attention to detail, and what Matt calls a “gut-instinct to do things in a conservative way,” has earned Faith Farms the 2016 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award for the lower Southeast region.

 

Southwest Region — Ricky Bearden

Water is the most critical aspect of growing peanuts in Yoakum County, Texas, says Ricky Bearden. “The most important thing we have to remember is to not plant more than we have water to make. We have to be careful not to put more inputs into a crop than we can get back.”

Bearden’s fallback position is to strive for yield. He also pushes for the most efficient crop he can make. That philosophy — and consistent production — helped earn him the 2016 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award for the Southwest region.