MARIANNA, Fla (WMBB) — About 85 farmers got their first look at the new nut on Thursday during the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) annual “Peanut Field Day.”
With six stops spread throughout the farm, farmers had the opportunity to learn every aspect of growing peanuts.
“Telling farmers about weed control, disease control, there’s sprayer technology as well as agronomics– how to grow the crop in general,” said Barry Tillman, agronomy professor.
Tillman specializes in the different varieties of peanuts.
“We have varieties that have better disease tolerance, higher yield, better grades, things that make the growers money,” said Tillman.
One of the varieties highlighted at “Peanut Field Day” this year is ‘FLO-RUN T61.’
Experts said this variety has a lot of potential for growers in the tri-state area.
“This particular variety has been in development for over a decade; but, we’ve been doing peanut research at this base since the 1970s,” said Doug Mayo, Jackson County extension director.
Mayo said the process takes so long because you have to select individual plants that excel during threats of changing weather, pests, or fungus.
“We got to make sure we have a variety that can take what the climate throws at it, but also is a product that’s good and wholesome for our consumers,” said Mayo.
Then IFAS licenses the new varieties of peanuts to companies, who sell the seed to growers like the 85 farmers at ‘Peanut Field Day.’