(Photos) Billy Bain "Mr. Peanut" is 2014 Virginia-Carolina Peanut Profitability Award winner
Billy Bain is literally “Mr. Peanut” in the V-C area, winning the first ever Mr. Peanut Award, sponsored by Planters Peanut Company. During his farming career that spans parts of six decades, he has also won Virginia’s top environmental and conservation award and was the 2009 Virginia Farmer of the Year. Now, he has been named the 2014 Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award winner for the Upper Southeast region. He is a third-generation Virginia farmer, who helped his mother manage the farm after his father died when Billy was a junior in high school. It took time away from the farm, serving in the Army, to convince him that farming was the right career path. When he returned to the farm, he started on 200 acres, and the mainstay was peanuts. Now, he farms about 3,500 acres and peanuts are still a big part of his farming operation. In addition to growing peanuts, Bain grows cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat and raises beef cattle. Rotation, variety selection, conservation and nutrition are keys to producing a profitable and economical peanut crop. Marketing is also a top priority. In some cases, storing peanuts from one year to the next has made a huge difference in profitability.