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MSU field day connects peanut growers, experts
CLARKSDALE -- Peanut producers learned about irrigation strategies, diseases, insect control and harvest methods at the North Mississippi Peanut Field Day in Clarksdale.
In 2012 Mississippi moved into the seventh spot nationally in peanut production. Demand for peanuts has increased, yet the state’s peanut acreage decreased this year because of oversupply and lower contract prices.
“Even with this year’s drop in Mississippi’s peanut acreage, we hope the field day will help increase interest in peanut production,” said Don Respess, Mississippi State University Extension agent in Coahoma County and field day coordinator.
Peanuts are grown in about 40 of Mississippi’s 82 counties. About 50 peanut producers attended the session held at the Mattson Flowers Farm.
“The Delta and north Mississippi offer a good situation for growing peanuts,” said Trey Bullock, peanut consultant. “The plant is drought tolerant and unlikely to suffer from hurricanes. Plus, peanuts help keep the soil healthy and can be financially profitable.”
Mississippi peanuts have a unique distinction, too.
“Mississippi’s peanuts are the only ones in the nation to hold the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check,” said Malcolm Broome, executive director of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, which markets Mississippi-raised peanuts.
The field day concluded with lunch provided by Clint Williams Co., BASF, Syngenta and Delta Plastics.