Peanut Farmers of the Year
Davis Farms was honored as the 2012 Peanut Farmers of the Year at the 39th annual Farm City Day Celebration held on Friday, November 16. The Peanut Farmer award is selected by the Jackson County Extension Service with assistance from the Florida Peanut Producers Association.
The Davis family has been farming in Jackson and surrounding Counties for over 150 years. Five brothers: Sonny, Randy, Michael, Keith, and Roger Davis, along with Sonny’s son Josh, Roger’s son Alan, and Keith’s nephew Javy Waller have been farming together for over 40 years.
Collectively the Davis family manages over 7500 acres . This year they had 4000 acres of cotton, 2500 acres of peanuts, 300 acres of soybeans, and raise 350 head of beef cows. Each has independent farms, but they all work together as Davis Farms, especially during planting and harvest. Davis Farms is predominately a dryland, or non-irrigated operation, although they do have some center pivots on part of the farm.
According to Josh, “this was the best year we have ever had for peanuts”. Like many farms in the county, the high yields are the result of excellent new peanut varieties and a very good weather year. There were no 100 degree days after Memorial Day weekend, and much fewer days over 95. Plus, rainfall was more plentiful and uniform than in previous years. Josh said that, “the peanuts never wilted this year, they just kept growing”. Normally the Davises average 3800-4200 pounds per acre, but this year averaged around 5000 pounds per acre for the whole farm. Even fields that received less rainfall averaged 4500 pounds, with their top yields of 6200 pounds per acre on irrigated fields. This year the Davises mainly grew the Georgia 06G variety, but also had some fields planted with Florida 07 and Georgia Greener seed that also yielded well.
The Davis are also very involved in the agricultural industry outside their farm. Sonny is a leader in cotton industry, working with the Clover Leaf Gin. Michael currently serves on the National Peanut Board representing Florida farmers.