USDA’s Southeast Climate Hub developed commodity guides, including peanuts, to help in preparation and recovery from hurricanes.
⋅ BY AMANDA HUBER ⋅
Much of the peanut belt has another distinction, that of being coastal states open to the threat of hurricanes. Peanut season for most of this area is May to October and coincides with hurricane season, which is June to November.
To help producers remain resilient and productive in the face of this threat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast Climate Hub, along with other USDA agencies and university Extension experts, developed commodity guides to help prepare for and recover from hurricane events. The Southeast commodity guides contain hurricane preparation and recovery guidance and resource links for the most economically important agricultural commodities in the region.
To Find The Guide
For The Hurricane Preparation and Recovery in the Southeastern United States “Peanut Producers Guide,” go to www.climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/southeast/topic/hurricane-preparation-and-recovery-southeast-us or www.climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/southeast and click on “topics,” then “crops,” then “Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Guides.”
Build Resilience Into Your Farm
The Southeast Climate Hub works to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information on climate variability and change to farmers, ranchers and forest land managers. It connects public, academic and private sector organizations with researchers and outreach specialists to deliver technical support and provide tools that help producers cope with challenges associated with drought, heat stress, excessive moisture and changes in pest pressures.
Nancy Gibson, USDA environmental technician with the Southeast Climate Hub, says the purpose of the guide is to build resilience to and recover more quickly from hurricanes.
“There are 23 different common agricultural commodities included in the guides, which have details for coastal states from Louisiana to Virginia. The goal is to help producers remain resilient and productive,” she says.
Written By Peanut Specialists And Researchers
The guides are featured on the main page of the Southeast Climate Hub website. The “Peanut Producers Guide” is written by Barry Tillman, University of Florida agronomy professor and assistant director of the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna; Dan Anco, Clemson University Extension peanut specialist and David Jordan, North Carolina State University Extension peanut specialist.
The guide focuses on long- and short-term planning and preparation to mitigate the impacts of hurricanes on peanut production, potential impacts of wind and water on peanut production and rebuilding and recovery after a hurricane.
This guide, and those of the other agricultural products, is separated into four primary sections: building a resilient operation, long-term operation maintenance, short-term preparedness and, finally, post-hurricane recovery.
A Farm Emergency Plan Template
For producers, the section on building a resilient operation outlines a range of considerations and systems that producers can put in place to increase their resilience to hurricanes. Long-term operation maintenance lists specific pre-hurricane actions and periodic checks to be done on an annual basis (before hurricane season) and monthly basis (during hurricane season). The section on short-term preparedness lists specific actions to be done in the week before a hurricane arrives.
The final section, post-hurricane recovery, outlines activities that producers can take to minimize their losses following a hurricane. It begins with actions immediately following a hurricane that are focused on safety and continues with ongoing actions a week out and a month out.
The guide also includes an appendix with two customizable templates for a Farm Emergency Plan and an Emergency Contacts List. Both the plan and list should be periodically reviewed, as mentioned in the long-term operation maintenance section. The appendix also includes an initial site planning guide that can be referenced if purchasing or leasing new land, and resource links to helpful federal, state and Extension websites are also referenced throughout the guide.
Hurricane preparedness can have a direct effect on your farm’s profitability and long-term survival. For agricultural operations in hurricane-vulnerable regions, it is critical to have a Farm Emergency Plan in place outlining key tasks and different people’s roles and responsibilities as you brace for the hurricane. PG