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Virginia Tech plant pathologist and Peanut Innovation Lab scientist Maria Balota demonstrates some of the sensors she uses in the high throughput phenotyping project to attendees at the 51st annual American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting in Auburn, Ala. which was held July 9-11, 2019. CAES News
Virginia Tech plant pathologist and Peanut Innovation Lab scientist Maria Balota demonstrates some of the sensors she uses in the high throughput phenotyping project to attendees at the 51st annual American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting in Auburn, Ala. which was held July 9-11, 2019.
Peanut Research
AUBURN, Ala. – The 51st gathering of the American Peanut Research and Education Society brought together hundreds of scientists and students to share cutting-edge research, with a particular focus on the value that international research is having on the U.S. peanut industry. With a theme of “Peanuts Around the World,” the conference called on the Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab to demonstrate ways research collaboration has dual benefits for science, industry and agriculture in the U.S. and other countries around the world.
The Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab, headquartered at the University of Georgia, brought together U.S. and African scientists to share plans for research projects they are conducting on peanut production, marketing and nutrition in Uganda. CAES News
The Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab, headquartered at the University of Georgia, brought together U.S. and African scientists to share plans for research projects they are conducting on peanut production, marketing and nutrition in Uganda.
Uganda peanut research
Scientists, students and advisors working on Peanut Innovation Lab projects in Uganda met in late May for a launch meeting in Kampala to celebrate the start of work and share questions and insight about the direction of projects.
CAES News
Peanut Variety Research
The Peanut Innovation Lab is working not only to find the diversity in modern peanut, but also to introduce new diversity from the wild species. These efforts are aimed at helping to improve future peanut varieties – which already adapts well to different climates – become even more resilient to disease, pests and extreme weather.
Frank Nolin, a retired businessman who manufactured agricultural equipment for Georgia farms, is designing and building small-scale equipment for Africa through the Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia. CAES News
Frank Nolin, a retired businessman who manufactured agricultural equipment for Georgia farms, is designing and building small-scale equipment for Africa through the Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia.
Malawi peanut shellers
One big key to improving peanut crop quality and market reliability in Malawi is post-harvest equipment. The Peanut Innovation Lab helped match up the people who want to buy peanuts with Frank Nolin, a retired steel equipment manufacturer who spent his career building equipment for the US peanut industry. By making it possible for buyers to sort nuts for size and quality, Nolin’s equipment allows buyers to separate nuts by grade and reward farmers based on quality, as well as separate groundnuts for sale in different markets.
Children enjoy a snack at school in Guyana in 2010. The school snack program used locally-sourced peanut butter and casava bread to supplement kids’ diets and stoke the local economy. The program was started with money and guidance from USAID’s Peanut Collaborative Research Program, the precursor to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut. CAES News
Children enjoy a snack at school in Guyana in 2010. The school snack program used locally-sourced peanut butter and casava bread to supplement kids’ diets and stoke the local economy. The program was started with money and guidance from USAID’s Peanut Collaborative Research Program, the precursor to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut.
Guyana school snacks
Seven years after a U.S.-led research project to increase peanut production ended, thousands of children in one of the most remote parts of the world continue to get a healthy snack every day, and women are bringing more income into the home through local small businesses.  
Peanut Innovation Lab Assistant Director Jamie Rhoads demonstrates a small-scale sheller in Malawi in March 2019 while working with the Malawi Agricultural Diversification Activity. Photo by Dave Hoisington CAES News
Peanut Innovation Lab Assistant Director Jamie Rhoads demonstrates a small-scale sheller in Malawi in March 2019 while working with the Malawi Agricultural Diversification Activity. Photo by Dave Hoisington
Malawi agriculture partnership
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut at the University of Georgia partners with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Malawi to help farmers diversify their crops.
David Okello, the head of the groundnut improvement program for Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (far left) hosted colleagues from other East African nations who are working to streamline their groundnut breeding programs through a breeding management software program and the Peanut Innovation Lab. Project participants include (from left): Justus Chintu of the Department of Agricultural Research Services in Malawi; Amade Muitia from the Mozambique Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM); Tonike Malema from Zambia; Mary Jacinta de Carvalho from Mozambique; Lutangu Makweti of the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute; Owiny Ronald  from Uganda; and Sinkala Willard from Zambia. Photo by David Okello CAES News
David Okello, the head of the groundnut improvement program for Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (far left) hosted colleagues from other East African nations who are working to streamline their groundnut breeding programs through a breeding management software program and the Peanut Innovation Lab. Project participants include (from left): Justus Chintu of the Department of Agricultural Research Services in Malawi; Amade Muitia from the Mozambique Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM); Tonike Malema from Zambia; Mary Jacinta de Carvalho from Mozambique; Lutangu Makweti of the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute; Owiny Ronald  from Uganda; and Sinkala Willard from Zambia. Photo by David Okello
Breeding Peanut Varieties
Groundnut producers face challenges in the field, from unpredictable rainfall to acidic soils to a particularly difficult menace, groundnut rosette disease. These types of challenges are the reason that plant breeders systematically create new varieties, targeting the genetic traits that carry resistance or improve yield. A project funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut is equipping plant breeders from across East and Southern Africa with innovative software to make that work quicker and more efficient.
Peanut Institute Research Director Dr. Samara Sterling speaks about a proposed project at a September 2018 meeting of the External Advisory Panel in Savannah, Ga. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Peanut Institute Research Director Dr. Samara Sterling speaks about a proposed project at a September 2018 meeting of the External Advisory Panel in Savannah, Ga. (Photo by Allison Floyd)
Peanut Innovation Projects
The Peanut Innovation Lab’s External Advisory Panel met in Savannah Sept. 17 and 18 to discuss and prioritize dozens of project ideas in the areas of peanut nutrition and the impacts of gender and youth on peanut production, two of the four areas of inquiry for the innovation lab.
Jessica Marter-Kenyon is the gender specialist for the Peanut Innovation Lab housed in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. CAES News
Jessica Marter-Kenyon is the gender specialist for the Peanut Innovation Lab housed in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Gender Specialist
Jessica Marter-Kenyon has joined the Peanut Innovation Lab management team as an advisor on gender-related issues. As a postdoctoral research associate with the innovation lab, Marter-Kenyon holds a joint appointment with the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Peanut harvest will be delayed this year because of Hurricane Michael and the damage to buying points and shellers in South Georgia. CAES News
Peanut harvest will be delayed this year because of Hurricane Michael and the damage to buying points and shellers in South Georgia.
Georgia Peanuts
National Peanut Day is September 13. Although Georgia is known as the "Peach State," it is also the No. 1 producer of peanuts in the U.S. Last year, American farmers produced almost 2 million tons of peanuts. The U.S. is ranked third in worldwide peanut production, behind China and India.