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Peanut growers receive equipment donation
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just a few years ago, peanut production in Mississippi was mostly confined to home gardens, but this year growers planted an estimated 47,000 acres, placing the state No. 7 in the nation in peanut acreage.
Mississippi’s move into the top 10 peanut-producing states has caught the attention of at least one peanut equipment manufacturer. Georgia-based Kelley Manufacturing Company has donated a two-
row digger shaker to the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association. The company also refurbished and added a bagger to a KMC combine donated to the association by the National Peanut Research Lab.
“Mississippi peanut growers and their association are important to us,” said Tony Jackson, KMC vice president of sales and marketing. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to support the state’s producers through this equipment donation and through field service to help new growers learn how to get top performance from harvest equipment.”
The association has given the KMC equipment to the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station for use with peanut variety trials on the farms of cooperating producers and Mississippi State University test plots.
“The move to peanut production is a success story for Mississippi agriculture, and the data collected from the variety trials will help growers continue to succeed,” said MAFES director George Hopper. “The availability of the quality equipment provided by KMC will continue to help us as we move into other areas of peanut research.”
The cooperation between growers and Mississippi State University and companies like KMC is important because of the rapid expansion of peanut production in the state, said Malcolm Broome, executive director of the growers association.
“We went from 14,000 acres grown in 2011 to about 47,000 this year, so peanuts are a new crop on many farms,” he said. “Peanuts are a good crop for Mississippi, and acreage is expected to continue to increase, which makes the equipment education KMC can provide and research support from MSU extremely important.”