New Briefs

More Assistance To Farmers, Ranchers

Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee Chairman John Hoeven recently announced the approval of $19 billion for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to support farmers and ranchers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program includes $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers, and $3 billion in purchases of agriculture products, including meat, dairy and produce to support producers and provide food to those in need.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will work with local and regional distributors to deliver food to food banks, as well as community and faith-based organizations.

Of the $16 billion, $3.9 billion is allocated to row-crop producers who suffered losses due to COVID-19. Because peanuts did not experience a 5% price decrease, no payments will be made for this crop.

For commodities that experienced a 5% price decrease between January and April, producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations.

For price losses that occurred Jan. 1 to April 15, 2020, producers will be compensated for 85% of price loss during that period. The second part of the payment will be expected losses from April 15 through the next two quarters and will cover 30% of losses.

The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded the announcement that agricultural producers are now eligible for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance programs.

“America’s farmers, ranchers and producers need the same help that other American businesses need during this unprecedented time,” says Perdue. “This significant new authority signed by President Trump will make a tremendous difference for America’s agricultural community.”

SBA’s EIDL portal has been closed since April 15. In order to help facilitate this important change to EIDL Loan and EIDL Advance assistance eligibility, SBA reopened the loan and advance application portal to agricultural enterprises only.

For agricultural producers who submitted an EIDL loan application through the portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these without the need for reapplying. All other EIDL loan applications will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

For more information, visit www.sba.gov/Disaster.

Warehouse Report

The USDA Warehouse Act was established in 1916 to stabilize and standardize warehousing. Licensed warehouses are inspected each year. The licensing program is used to verify quantity, quality and financial arrangements to ensure commodities are not only properly accounted for but also stored correctly.

In FY 2019, there were 30 licenses, 336 functional units and 4.2 million tons of capacity. Compared to the prior year, this represents no change in the number of licenses, a 6% increase in functional units and a 7.6% increase in capacity. License numbers have remained steady for the past 10 years.

This past year, 33,718 peanut electronic warehouse receipts were issued covering 2.17 million tons. Compared to 2018, peanut receipts declined 24.7% and volume covered declined 18.6%.

Food Bank Donations In V-C

Peanut farmers from the Virginia-Carolina states donated peanut butter to food banks in their respective states. Because of the pandemic and economic shutdown, many people have turned to food banks to feed their families.

In early May, a truckload of peanut butter traveled from the Peanut Proud warehouse in southwest Georgia to the V-C area.

Six pallets comprising 8,640 jars were delivered to Columbia, South Carolina, for distribution to the Columbia Harvest Hope Food Bank. Another nine pallets, or 12,960 jars, were delivered to North Carolina food banks in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Elizabeth City.

Five pallets or 7,200 jars of Peanut Proud peanut butter were delivered to the Southeastern Food Bank in Norfolk, Virginia, along with one pallet going to the local Cooperative Ministries in Franklin, Virginia.

International Peanut Forum Rescheduled

The International Peanut Forum has been rescheduled for April 28-30, 2021. The American Peanut Council is working with the Corinthia Hotel in Budapest, Hungry, to host the event.

The council is offering delegates the option to roll over their registration fee to 2021 or to request a refund.
West Named Interim Dean

Joe West, who served as assistant dean of the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, has been named interim dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, effective July 1.

West is a professor in the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science, and his career with CAES spans nearly 35 years. In 12 years as assistant dean, he oversaw enhancements to the learning environment for students, as well as growth in research activity and Extension programming on the Tifton Campus. From 2002 to 2004, he served as interim head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science.

As previously announced, Samuel Pardue, who has led the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences since 2016, will step down June 30.

Former UGA CAES dean and National Institute of Food and Agriculture director, J. Scott Angle has been named vice president of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Canadians Are Good Customers

Exports of U.S.-grown peanut products to Canada have continued a trajectory of growth over the past decade, despite a fluctuating exchange rate and trade tensions during negotiations to modernize and improve the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The growth is apparent when considering both volume and per-capita consumption of all peanut products, and especially noteworthy when analyzing the peanut butter category.

For export growth by volume, in 2009, 87,292 metric tons of U.S. peanut products were exported to Canada. By 2019, that number had grown by 46% to 127,465 metric tons. Peanut butter exports to Canada by volume doubled over the past decade, from 7,884 metric tons in 2009 to 15,823 metric tons in 2019.

When considering consumption per-capita, Canadians eat 7.5 pounds of peanut products per year, which is higher than the U.S., and up from 5.2 pounds in 2009. Canadian consumption of U.S.-produced peanut butter nearly doubled in the past decade from 0.5 pound per-capita in 2009 to almost 1 pound in 2019.

Donate To Peanut Proud

peanut proud peanut butterAs more Americans face economic instability, there will be increased demand for nutritious, economical protein-rich foods at food banks and other community food distribution points. Peanut butter is consistently one of the most requested items at food banks.

Unfortunately, social distancing has made in-person product donation drop offs challenging. However, it is still possible to help by making a tax-deductible donation to Peanut Proud, the peanut industry’s non-profit humanitarian organization. Help those in our communities who have become food insecure because of the impact of COVID-19.

To donate, go to www.PeanutProud.org or donations can be mailed to Peanut Proud, P.O. Box 446, Blakely, GA 39823.

SPGC Set For July

Vision 2020 for peanutsMark your calendar for the 22nd Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 16-18, 2020, at the Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, Panama City Beach, Florida. This year’s conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about legislative issues, peanut promotions and production issues.

The registration fee for growers is $145, which includes all conference events and meals. The registration deadline is June 30, after which the fee increases by $50.

The theme for this year’s conference, “2020 Vision for Peanuts,: will highlight the future value of peanuts and the future of grading, processor needs and farm automation. During the Saturday morning general session, the keynote speaker will be U.S.

Sen. John Boozman, (R-Ark.), chairman of the Commodities, Risk Management and Trade subcommittee of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry committee.

To register and view the conference schedule, visit southernpeanutfarmers.org.