More than 1,300 attendees were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference on Jan. 18 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission.
The one-day show offered farmers a chance to view the products and services of more than 109 exhibitors, as well as a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented an educational peanut production seminar focusing on insects, fertility, disease and nematodes as well as a year in review of the 2017 crop. An industry seed seminar was held, which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2018.
The Georgia Peanut Commission presented awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry and promotion of peanuts across the United States. The award recipients are: Distinguished Service Award - Jeff Johnson, retired president of Birdsong Peanuts; Research and Education Award - Albert Culbreath, University of Georgia plant pathologist; Media Award - Craig Harney, video producer of special projects at WTOC; and Georgia Peanut Special Award to Matt Baldwin, professional bullfighter who promotes Georgia peanuts.
The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF, was presented to Elton Baldy of Norman Park, Georgia. The award is presented to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant's overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. Baldy's farming operation includes 750 acres of cropland where he grows peanuts, soybeans, corn, wheat, hay and vegetables.
On the farm, Baldy has implemented a variety of important stewardship practices including cover crops, strip tillage, crop rotation and using non-drift nozzles when spraying. Baldy also uses Peanut Rx to help with managing diseases in his peanut crop. He continues to incorporate multiple modes of action when applying herbicides to assist with weed control. Baldy also utilizes irrigation with low pressure nozzles to conserve water and grid soil sampling to identify areas of a field that need improvement.
Baldy was active in 4-H and FFA through high school. He continued to be active in many agricultural organizations including Georgia Farm Bureau and Georgia Young Farmers. He currently serves as a board member on the board of directors for the Colquitt County Farm Bureau. In addition to farming, Baldy provides auction services for the sale of farm equipment, livestock and other aspects of the ag industry. Baldy receives a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July.
In addition to the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to individuals representing each of the commission's five districts. The GPC board members started this award to honor farmers each year who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see the peanut industry in the state of Georgia continue to be the highest quality. Winners include: District 1 - Ike Newberry, Arlington; District 2 - Chip Dorminy, Fitzgerald; District 3 - Charles Smith Jr., Wadley; District 4 - James 'Roy' Malone Sr., Dexter; and District 5 - Marvin and Dania DeVane, Cuthbert. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and a $100 gift card from Agri Supply.
At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize package donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. was presented to Lamar Merritt of Wray, Georgia, and Shane Pridgen of Broxton, Georgia. Merritt received one season's use of a new KMC peanut combine and the option of purchasing the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price at the end of the 2018 season. Pridgen received one season's use of a new KMC digger shaker inverter or dump cart and the option of purchasing the peanut digger or dump cart from a KMC dealer with 10 percent off the list price at the end of the 2018 season.
Amadas Industries also provided the Grower Door Prize to Stanley Corbett of Lake Park, Georgia. Corbett received one season's use of a new Amadas peanut digger/inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of a pull-type peanut combine.