Data From PMIL Trials at MFK Now Available

From MFK Agriculture Research and Extension Program Specialist Ben Wiseman

In November 2018, the Peanut Innovation Lab (previously Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, PMIL), released a final report on the research trials conducted at MFK between 2015 and 2017.  The report is a compilation of research efforts made to determine best practices for improving yield in Haitian peanut production.  The report focuses on management of foliar diseases, particularly leaf rust and late leaf spot.  It also discusses options to improve poor soil quality and investigates proper seed spacing for production of the Haitian varieties of runner and Valencia peanuts.   The document is a valuable resource for peanut cultivators and extension agencies in Haiti.

Improving farmer peanut yields has huge potential for improving farmer livelihoods in Haiti.  As the report explains, Haitian farmers yield as little as 10% of the average peanut harvest per hectare on farms in Georgia.  The report lists three major causes for the meager yield.  First, leaf diseases ravage the peanut fields of Haiti, usually unchecked by disease control measures. Second, plants show stunted growth in Haiti due to poor soil quality and lack of water.  Third, farmers often place far too few peanuts in the ground per hectare, resulting in low plant density and lost opportunity for production. The report delves into these topics and includes research-based recommendations on each topic studied.

PMIL’s Haiti Peanut Research Report is important to MFK’s agriculture team’s past and future.  The report is a testament to the accomplishment of MFK’s participation in research to improve peanut production methods in Haiti, and it makes clear the importance of our farmer training program.  Our ongoing farmer training facilitates the dispersal of information to small-holder farmers in northern Haiti whose livelihoods depend on peanut production.

To read the report, click here.