2019 Crop Wrap Up

Peanut production is forecast at 5.64 billion pounds for 2019, up 3% from 2018. Harvested area is expected to total 1.38 million acres, up 1% from 2018. The average yield is forecast at 4,080 pounds per acre, up 79 pounds from the 2018 average yield. Record yields were forecast in Florida and North Carolina.

In the first week of January, 2.73 million tons had been inspected by the Federal-State Inspection Service, which was less than estimated. The report also showed 12,740 tons of Seg. 2s and 43,181 tons of Seg. 3s. The final crop estimate will be published in mid-February.

Labor Department Studying H-2A Changes

The U.S. Department of Labor is studying proposed changes to modernize H-2A regulations. Legislators are seeking to streamline the H-2A application process, strengthen protection for domestic and foreign workers, and ease unnecessary burdens on employers. The peanut industry uses seasonal workers to harvest peanuts and prepare the crop for storage; therefore, the H-2A program is needed.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says, “By streamlining these processes, farmers will be able to more cost effectively advertise for workers they need and fill out the required forms more easily and efficiently. No one should have to hire a lawyer to hire a farm worker.”

United Export Strategy

The American Peanut Council has been commended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service for excellence in program development to sell more U.S. peanuts abroad. Funding for the export program is provided by growers and shellers, which is matched by government programs.

Developing a united export strategy is critical for program funding. For example, Canada is a mature market for peanuts and peanut butter. However, the U.S. industry works to engage with the trade there to reinforce the message of quality in U.S. products to help build demand. The APC’s current message explains the early introduction of peanuts to infants and toddlers to mitigate peanut allergy.

A UES program has been developed for other areas such as Europe, Japan, China and Mexico. For 2020, the APC will manage $555,447 in Foreign Market Development funds and $2.5 million in Marketing Assistance Program funds. The APC is also managing $3.4 million in agriculture trade promotion funding over the next three years.

USA Peanut Congress

The 24th annual USA Peanut Congress, a joint meeting of the American Peanut Council and the American Peanut Shellers Association, will be held June 13-17. More than 350 industry leaders are expected to attend the meeting at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida. This event brings together all segments of the industry: farmers, buying points, shellers, manufacturers and allied members.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or for a tentative schedule of events, visit the American Peanut Shellers Association website at peanut-shellers.org.

Buying Points Annual Conference Scheduled

The National Peanut Buying Points Association will hold its 2020 Annual Winter Conference Feb. 14-17, at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.

The conference theme is about building unity.

President Joe Parker says, “We are in this industry together, and surviving means unifying and building trust. We have a great product that we must grow and service with pride, while seeking to maintain a profitable future.”

Registration forms are available at www.peanutbuyingpoints.org. The association represents more than 280 buying points. The conference opens Friday evening and ends Sunday. Table-top exhibit space is available, and a political action committee event – The Great Cash Giveaway – will also be held.

Leading Peanut Buyer

The J.M. Smucker Co. maintains its leadership position in fruit spreads and peanut butter with its Smucker’s and Jif brands, respectively. Innovations from the company include launching Smucker’s Uncrustables, a crustless PB&J sandwich.

The $7.8 billion J.M. Smucker Co. is a Fortune 500 company with a strong history in jams, jellies and preserves. Smucker entered into the coffee, pet food and pet snacks categories recently, and today’s portfolio of more than 40 brands can be found in 90% of U.S. homes and many restaurants.

Regarding the current state of the peanut butter: 79% of U.S. households purchased peanut butter in 2018-2019, and Jif represented 40% of the peanut butter market. Peanut butter is the most consumed nut butter with 7.4 pounds per capita per year. Snacking is becoming America’s favorite pastime happening at least once per day. Nearly 70% of people say they snack three times per day.

NPB Seeks Nominees

The Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and the Virginia Peanut Growers Association are seeking eligible producers interested in serving on the National Peanut Board.

national peanut board logoNomination election meetings will be held to select two nominees each for member and alternate from these areas to serve on the board. All eligible producers, those who are engaged in the production and sale of peanuts, and who own or share the ownership and risk of loss of the crop, are encouraged to participate.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

• The Alabama Peanut Producers Association – Thursday, Feb. 6, at the close of the Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, 5622 US-231, Dothan, Alabama. Tom Corcoran of Eufala is the current Alabama NPB member, and Thomas Adams of Newville serves as alternate.

• The Florida Peanut Producers Association – Thursday, Feb. 20, during the FPPA annual meeting. 7 p.m. – Jackson County Agricultural Complex and Conference Center, 2741 Penn Ave., Marianna, Florida. William Carte of Live Oak is the current Florida NPB member, and Jeremy Rolling of Westville serves as alternate.

• The North Carolina Peanut Growers Association – Friday, March 6; time and place to be announced. Dan Ward of Clarkton is the current board member, and Ray Garner Jr. of Roanoke Rapids is the alternate.

• The Virginia Peanut Growers Association – Wednesday, Feb. 26, following the state peanut production meeting held that morning at the Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin, Virginia. Paul Rogers III of Wakefield is the current member, and Westley Drake of Newsoms is the alternate.

The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association held its nominations meeting on Jan. 28.

The terms for the Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia members and alternates expire Dec. 31.

USDA requires two nominees from each state for each position of member and alternate. The NPB will submit the slate of nominees to the Secretary of Agriculture, who makes the appointments.

The NPB encourages inclusion of persons of any race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation and marital or family status. It is USDA’s policy that membership on boards and committees reflects the diversity of individuals served. NPB encourages all persons who qualify as peanut producers to attend the meeting and run for nomination.

Peanuts Should Be A Part Of Healthy Habits

The Peanut Institute research director Samara Sterling promotes the nutritional aspect of peanuts.

One serving of peanuts delivers 7 grams of protein, 19 vitamins and minerals, fiber and heart-healthy fats.

“Studies have shown that protein is the most filling macronutrient and actually changes the levels of several satiety hormones,” Sterling says. “When you have foods like peanuts and peanut butter that deliver plant protein, fiber and healthy fats, you’re making a smart choice that will keep you feeling full, help power you through the day and eliminate the urge to snack and consume empty calories.”

Sterling says consumers need to focus on increasing good habits. “Set yourself up for success by building on the healthy habits you already have,” says Sterling. A smart move is to incorporate foods that are high in protein and fiber in order to feel full longer.

Peanuts are known as a superfood because of the significant nutritional value in a small amount. One serving of peanuts is an ounce or approximately 35 peanuts, and a serving of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons.

Peanut Proud Offers Relief

peanut proudThe peanut industries’ humanitarian organization, Peanut Proud, continues to help with disaster relief and humanitarian aid through food pantries. Since 2017, Peanut Proud has produced and delivered 2.14 million jars of peanut butter.

Peanut Proud Inc. recently called for donations of peanut butter or financial assistance to complete the project in the Bahamas. This effort is a continuation of aid to the area following Hurricane Dorian.

A donation of $1,440 will pay for a pallet, or 1,440 jars, of smooth peanut butter. Donate to Peanut Proud by mail at P. O. Box 650, Blakely, GA 39823, or through the website at www.peanutproud.com.