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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINING PEANUT CROPPING SYSTEMS COMPETITIVENESS

Location: Peanut Research

Project Number: 6604-64000-007-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 23, 2009
End Date: Dec 31, 2013

Objective:
1. Compare the productivity, profitability, energy self-sufficiency, and environmental impact (water and carbon) of a southeast peanut-based production system. 1.A. Determine the optimal Southeastern states irrigation strategies for specific peanut rotation sequences that minimize soil-borne disease pressure. 2. Develop improved irrigation and tillage strategies for peanut-based rotation systems. 2.A. Develop handling and processing strategies for peanuts produced for biodiesel. 2.B. Quantify the costs/benefits and economies-of-scale and size required for processing peanuts as biodiesel for on-farm use. 2.C. Examine the value-added opportunities for the co-products from peanut feedstocks used for biodiesel. 3. Develop a sustainable, on-farm fuel production and processing system using peanut as a biodiesel feedstock. 3.A. Develop economic whole-system transition and management strategies for irrigated and non-irrigated organic peanut-cotton-corn production. 3.B. Determine the added identity preservation costs to handle, process, and market organic crops, and develop methods to reduce added costs. 3.C. Determine post-harvest quality attributes of organically produced crops. 4. Develop dedicated organic peanut-cotton-corn production, transition, and management systems for the Southeast.

Approach:
For each of the objectives, a comprehensive cost and return analysis will be conducted. Representative case farms will be constructed in a whole farm planning system (WholeFarm) framework to compare the feasibility of each objective individually, and to compare the options against each other. The overall goal is to determine how the system components will economically and technically integrate into an individual farm operation by evaluating changes in net farm income, crop and livestock production, energy use, and natural resources. The purpose of this research is to determine the impact of the results from the objectives on whole farm net income utilizing representative case farms that will be specified to encompass a wide variety of farm structures and sizes to address the needs of peanut producers. Comprehensive post-harvest quality evaluations will be conducted to study the impact on the post-harvest handling and processing segments of the industry to ensure that farm level decisions will not ultimately lead to the reduced competitiveness of U.S. peanuts and peanut products. Central to this research is technology transfer. As this research is being conducted, there will be a parallel effort in the development and validation of expert systems designed to improve management decisions to expedite technology transfer and industry adoption. The overall goal of this research is to conduct systems research related to irrigation, tillage, crop rotation sequences, on-farm generation of biodiesel, and organic production of peanut, cotton, and corn. The impacts of this research will be examined on the entire agricultural production system and not limited to one aspect of production management or one segment of the peanut industry. A holistic view of this research will be taken from the individual objectives to provide relevant information and management strategies for producers, handlers, processors, and related industry and governmental agencies.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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