Attention to detail and not cutting disease pressure any slack is how this producer operates.
By Amanda Huber
Decatur County producer, Kevin Rentz, learns from each and every crop he puts into the ground in the spring and harvests in the fall, fine-tuning his management strategies for the next year.
“He takes a lot of pride in his work and doesn’t skip over any details,” says Eric Cohen, whose business is Cohen Crop Consulting, Bainbridge, Ga., and is Rentz’s consultant. “His irrigation program is top notch, and he puts a lot of energy into learning and perfecting his production practices.”
That’s pretty high praise for a producer who’s only 29 years old.
Better Every Year
Rentz started out as a farm manager for his grandfather. When he retired, Rentz and his father went into partnership on the farm. The family also has Rentz Farm Supply, a buying point for John B. Sanfilippo And Son, Inc.
The younger Rentz works the farm, while his dad works the supply company. He’s been farming for seven years now with Cohen consulting for the last six years.
“We’ve been getting better and better each year making little changes here and there,” Rentz says. “We had two fields do over 7,000 pounds per acre in 2011, but the average overall was 6,700 pounds per acre.”
Always An April Planter
Last year, Rentz had 719 acres of peanuts. This year he will plant around 1,000 acres of peanuts, 550 acres of cotton and about 550 acres of corn.
Rentz’s three-year rotation is cotton, corn then peanuts. “I’ve been putting peanuts behind corn since I went back to growing corn,” he says, admitting that this year will be a little tighter rotation.
Rentz plants mainly Georgia-06G, but also had about 90 acres of Tifguard in 2011. “We put it on a sandy field, and it yielded well.”
This season, Rentz started planting on April 14, but he says he has always planted in April.
“I like to be through with planting by May 20; although, every peanut I’ve planted that has yielded well was planted by May 5.”
Don’t Cut Disease Any Slack
While many producers took a hard hit from disease in 2011, Rentz worked to keep disease pressure at bay.
“We stayed on top of it and hit it pretty hard with fungicides,” he says. “I didn’t cut it any slack, and we had a good year last year.”
Rentz uses Elast for leaf spot and Artisan and tebuconazole for white mold. “Last year was the second year using Elast. It has done a good job for me on leaf spot.”
“Elast and Artisan are the main products in the program we use,” Cohen says. “I would go to bat with those tools on peanuts.”
By not cutting corners and staying timely with inputs, Rentz is well on his way to many high-yielding years. PG