Farmers hitched a ride around the peanut field Thursday stopping at 6 different stations to hear the latest research information from University of Florida and Georgia researchers. Farmers learned of new software that can help determine when to harvest the peanuts and also about techniques to combat disease...which is something Jackson County farmer Jefferey Pittman was extremely interested in.
"With the excessive rainfall we've had in our part of the county," says Pittman. "It's really helpful for us to have the opportunity to come and see the research in the field that we can implement on our farms."
Researchers shared with farmers better ways to treat leaf spots and white mold, two common diseases that attack the peanut crop and flourish with excessive moisture. "Looking at the different chemistries they've applied at the research farm, it gives us some ideas to take back to our farms," says Pittman.
"Everything grows with water so that includes the crop, but also includes the pest," says Doug Mayo, the Jackson County Extension Director. He says this year is much different than years past. "Conditions are drastically different," explains Mayo. "Depending on the area you're farming in, we've had 12 to 14 inches in August."
While farmers like Pittman are thankful for the rainfall...he will just have to make sure he alters his use of fungicides, something he learned all about today.
In addition from learning from researchers, farmers learned from each other as well. Mayo says these farmers are "independent business men." He adds, "They work in rural areas, and don't get to get together often, so this is a chance to come together and pick each other's brain."