Coominya farmers Fred, Robin and Greg Banff have won the 1997 Peanut Company of Australia's Irrigated Peanut Competition based on TOPNUT, the peanut version of TOPCROP
The family win sent Greg to North America for three weeks to look at peanut production. The PCA sponsors three trips to North America each year for growers participating in TOPNUT.
A peanut TOPCROP group formed in the Coominya-Atkinson's Dam area just after peanut production started there, six years ago. Since then, district yield averages have increased yearly. TOPNUT allows growers to get together and discuss production methods and results.
"It's great to discuss ideas with neighbours and measure the outcomes, particularly as we don't have a long history of peanut production," Greg Banff said. Mr Banff is interested not just in increasing yields but, most importantly, increasing whole-farm profitability.
The Banff family produce mandarins, potatoes and maize and run a Droughtmaster stud. Although peanut production in the Coominya area only started in the 1990s, their yields are equal to the best in the state. Along with newer production areas throughout Queensland, the Coominya region has seen the top irrigated yields for peanuts rise to more than 7 t/ha.