Economic Value of Bailey Peanut Notes No. 218 2020

— Written By

Question:

I need a piece of information and I think you are the best person to point me in the right direction. Where can I find some information on the impact of Bailey on the peanut industry in North Carolina for the USA? I am trying to document the impact of the A. cardenasii segments for resistance and cultivar development and I think the best well-documented case is Bailey. It would be great if you could give us a hand.

Jordan Speculation:

I would say for a decade, Bailey along with other changes had a huge impact on peanut yields in North Carolina. Along with Bailey, longer rotations between peanuts, production of peanuts on more appropriate soils after changes in farm legislation in 2003, availability of plant protection products for most pests that develop, improvements in other technologies, and excellent management helped create an environment for yields to currently average 4000 pounds per acre. For much of that time growers could apply 4 sprays rather than the traditional 5 sprays. Over that stretch of time, production in the V-C Region likely was around 200,000 acres with around 65% in Bailey (130,000 acres.)  Compared to the older varieties, I think yields per acre increased by 400 pounds per acre with Bailey. My estimate is 700 pounds per acre total (average yield change after 2003 up to now) considering the contributing factors listed above with 400 pounds per acre attributed to Bailey. Assuming $0.23 per pound, that is $92 per acre. Using the 130,000 acres, the increase was $12 million USD per year compared with what older varieties would have delivered. Over a decade, that is $120 million USD relative to the yield increase. For the savings in fungicide, that would be $10 per acre on 130,000 acres per year for 10 years or $13 million USD. But this likely was realized on only half of the acres, so use $7 million USD for a decade. The total estimate of the value for a decade is $127 million USD. Let’s say a breeding program (Tom Isleib), wild species program (Tom Stalker), and PVQE (Walt Mozingo and Maria Balota) combined is $0.6 million USD per year, over a 35 year run the cost is $21 million USD. Therefore, the return on the breeding/wild species/PVQE investment is 6 to 1 when comparing the value over that decade to the cost of having the variety development program in place for 35 years.

Bailey still delivers but needs to be sprayed more frequently due to resistance or a shift in the leaf spot complex. But it was indeed the best thing since sliced bread for many people for over a decade.

The yield increase is more complex than what I outlined but Bailey has been outstanding. I will refer to Bailey in broad terms. I don’t think you can easily differentiate between the trait you mentioned and other characteristics Bailey has that contribute to yield, but that may not be important. The breeding and wild species programs came together nicely on this variety to provide a multi-resistant variety that performed and yielded extremely well under a wide range of environmental conditions and management levels. The dividend has been outstanding. In the early days it was like glyphosate-resistant crops in that glyphosate equalized management capabilities (glyphosate was so good it made even the sloppy managers or the managers spread too thin look good.) I think Bailey did that to a degree in peanuts. Of course, relying on one tool (Bailey or glyphosate) resulted in adaptations by nature rendering these tools less effective. But, currently Bailey II leads the pack on varieties that will be available over the next 5 or more years.

Quite a legacy. I wish Jack Bailey was here to see it.