Talking Goobers as Peanut Harvest Arrives- Mike Kubicek Looks to Regrowing Peanut AcresWed, 24 Sep 2014 14:27:48 CDT
Peanut harvest is ready to begin in Oklahoma- and Mike Kubicek of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission calls the attitude of producers "cautiously optimistic " as they are close to digging up this year's crop of goobers and seeing what is under that green canopy of peanut plants. Acres took a hit in 2014- Kubicek blames the lateness of many bigs by peanut processors and shellers as the reason that some acres that have been in peanuts in recent years went to other crops this spring- he's hopeful that those acres will return to peanuts in 2015- and he thinks they will if contracts to buy next year's crop are out in a more timely fashion next spring.
As for this season's harvest- Kubicek predicts that a lot of peanuts will be dug over the next couple of weeks.
Kubicek and others in the peanut business are optimistic for the future of the industry in Oklahoma, which has seen a dramatic drop in acres since the days of the old Peanut quota system. He points to several positive developments- the work by Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas in instructing the USDA 's Risk Management Agency to develop a Revenue Crop Insurance product for peanuts will help producers and their lenders consider peanuts in a more favorable light. In addition, Kubicek points to the peanut breeding work of Kelly Chamberlin and Rebecca Bennet of the Ag Research Service of USDA that has brought a new Spanish variety peanut on line- Ole- and has another pair of varieties ready to release in the next couple of growing seasons. He says a real key is the resistance that is being bred into these new varieties for Sclerotinia blight. In many of the traditional peanut growing areas of Oklahoma- especially in Caddo County- peanut production is simply not economical in the post peanut quota program world because of the cost of controlling this disease.
Farm Director Ron Hays of the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network talked with Kubicek and Chamberlin about Ole and the direction the breeding program is going when it comes to helping southwest peanut producers with this problem. Click or tap on the Listen Bar below to hear their comments and get a better picture in their words about how Ole fits into the production scene in Oklahoma and Texas.
By the way- we took lots of photos at the Pre Harvest Peanut Field Tour- Click or tap here to jump over to our Set of pictures as found on FLICKR!
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