- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - The Georgia Peanut Commission has awarded about $256,000 to the University of Georgia to fund various peanut-related projects.

University officials said this week that the research will focus on several areas including breeding, weed control, pest management, marketing and policy in an effort to support the state’s second most valuable row crop. Officials say the crop was worth more than $891 million in 2012.

The state’s average peanut yield last year was the second highest in history, following a state record in 2012. A national study found peanut yields increased 23 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Officials say Georgia’s peanut growers invest $2 per ton annually toward Georgia Peanut Commission programs, which include research, promotion and education. Officials say research comprises 22 percent of available funds in the commission’s budget.

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