New Briefs

2017 Crop Value
According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the price of peanuts last season averaged $0.230 per pound, or $460 per ton, 21.6 percent higher than 2016. The value of the 2017 peanut crop at farm level is $1,638,095,000, a 50.5 percent increase from 2016. Harvested peanut acres were up 16 percent.

The highest average price was paid in New Mexico at $578 per ton, followed by Texas at $542 per ton. The lowest price average was paid in Mississippi at $.207 per pound or $414 per ton. Arkansas was next lowest at $.212 or $424 per ton.

Georgia was the averaged $.216 per pound or $432 per ton. About 47.6 percent of the revenue from peanuts was produced in Georgia, followed by Texas with 12.5 percent and Alabama at 9.5 percent.

Seed Update
In Georgia, certified peanut acres increased to 147,000 compared to 130,000 in 2016. Inadequate isolation is the most frequent issue leading to rejected acres. The top five cultivars available are Georgia 06G (132,663 acres, 90 percent); Georgia 09B (7,954 ares, 5.4 percent); Georgia 14N, (3,474 acres, 3.4 percent); and TUFRunner ‘297’ (955 acres, 0.6 percent).

All 52 certified buying points and additional warehouse facilities were inspected in the fall. Georgia Crop Improvement Association staffers are currently inspecting shelling and treating facilities. The GCIA is strongly urging farmers to plant certified seed. Reasons why are that producers are more able to know the performance of these varieties, the seed are never more than two generations from Foundation class seed, fields are inspected for varietal purity and freedom from noxious weeds.

Officials also noted that certified peanuts are laboratory tested and meet or exceed minimum standards for germination and purity. Seed are monitored from the field, to storage, through the conditioning facility, to sampling and labeling.

Few Farm Bill Changes Expected
Congressman Rick Crawford, (R-Ark.), who serves on the House Ag Committee and is chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, recently addressed the Peanut Buying Points Convention regarding the Farm Bill.

“We don’t expect a lot of changes. Peanuts should stay the same, and we’re proud that we could bring cotton back into Title I of the Farm Bill.”

Crawford noted that most people forget, or either don’t know, that 80 percent of the Farm Bill comes under the nutrition title.

“Our goal is to make this area more efficient and more effective.”

He also said conservation is an area that needs some consolidation and better communications between agencies. He praised the tax-relief package as a help to Americans and businesses and promised more relief on rules and regulations that impede progress.

Changing Economic Trends
Adam Rabinowitz of the University of Georgia told peanut buying point managers that elimination of generic base means planted acres are fully decoupled from Title 1 commodity program. Therefore, growers need to plant for the market, and it is more important than ever for growers to know their cost of production.

With charts on the average cost and average return, Rabinowitz shows that a $400 per-ton peanut on irrigated land would equate to $.70 per-pound cotton, also irrigated. As to the peanut outlook, he said, “Planting expectations should be less than 2017 but likely more than 700,000 acres. Other influences include other crop prices, elimination of generic base and the need for rotation.

Demand continues to be strong, and with record carryover stocks keeping prices down, will interest from China and other Asian countries increase?

On the downside, Rabinowitz expressed concern about commodity prices continuing to be volatile, the decline of net farm and cash income and the growing problem of financial stress on the farm.

Buying Insurance
Peanut producers were busily buying federal crop insurance for the coming year in February and March. In 2017, USDA’s Risk Management Association sold 8,307 policies covering 1,641,673 acres. Total liability was $858,613,639.

Farmers can buy crop insurance under three plans: Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP) and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE). YP only covers yield losses based on the elected insurance coverage level.

The Seam Joins Field to Market
The Seam, a leading provider of agribusiness software and trading solutions, recently announced its affiliate membership with Field to Market, an alliance for sustainable agriculture dedicated to defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production.

“We are excited to join Field to Market to begin integrating sustainability metrics and associated algorithms from the Fieldprint Platform into The Seam’s agribusiness software products,” says Mark Pryor, Chairman and CEO at The Seam.

“Combined with blockchain technology, these integrations provide us with a powerful new tool set for delivering provable sustainability attestations, selective transparency, data security and privacy through a comprehensive platform.”

Field to Market began as a conversation on sustainability between agricultural supply chain stakeholders back in 2006. Since then, it has built a diverse group of more than 125 members representing all facets of U.S. agriculture, which includes grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities and public-sector partners. Its Fieldprint Platform, which links all points on the agricultural value chain, is a pioneering assessment framework that empowers brands, retailers, suppliers and farmers at every stage in their sustainability journey, to measure the environmental impacts of commodity crop production and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

Notable agribusiness members of Field to Market include American Peanut Council, Cotton Incorporated and the National Cotton Council, all of which The Seam is involved with as well.

For more information, visit www.theseam.com.

GPC Holds Referendum
The Georgia Peanut Commission will hold a referendum March 16 through April 16 giving peanut producers an opportunity to vote on reaffirming the commission. State law mandates that a referendum be held every three years. Georgia peanut producers invest $2 per ton to fund the commission and its research, education, promotion and communication programs.

The last referendum in 2015 passed with a 92.41 percent reaffirmation.

“I urge all peanut producers to vote in this referendum. Research, education and promotion continue to be the core focus of the commission,” says Armond Morris, GPC chairman. “With continuing budget cuts at the federal and state level, it is important for growers to continue supporting research and promotional efforts through checkoff dollars. One way for farmers to do that is by continuing their support of the Georgia Peanut Commission.”

GPC Executive Director Don Koehler urges producers to contact him by email at don@gapeanuts.com or 229-386-3470 if they have any questions about commission activities or the referendum.

Producers who do not receive a ballot may obtain one by calling the commission. Anyone receiving a ballot who is no longer farming, write, “no longer producing” on the certification envelope and return it to the commission at P.O. Box 967, Tifton, GA. 31793. This will assist the commission in updating its mailing list.

The Certified Public Accounting Firm of Allen, Pritchett, and Bassett will count the votes.

NPB Launches Peanutvision.Org
USA-grown peanuts are perfectly positioned as the food of now and the future. To help the peanut industry tell this story, the National Peanut Board has launched a new online resource: The Peanut Vision at peanutvision.org. This platform gives a 360-degree view of peanuts’ benefits in these key areas: Wellness, Environment, Food Safety and Community.

“These areas of focus align with expectations we’re hearing from retailers, millennial consumers, health and nutrition communities, and international groups,” said NPB President & CEO Bob Parker. “Retailers want proof of a commitment to sustainability. Millennials, the generation with the most potential for economic impact, want more information about the sources of the foods they eat.”

For more information, go to www.PeanutVision.org.

Climate Roundup Shows Dry Spring
David Zierden, state climatologist, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, reported recently that a “moderate drought” has developed in the tristate region where most of the U.S. peanuts are produced. Drought conditions also exist in West Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

La Niña in the Pacific, which favors a warm and dry spring, should dissipate in the next two month.

PB For Special Forces
Florida Peanut Federation Executive Director Deborah Tannenbaum and FPF Allied Member, Craig Mikell of Florida Farm Bureau Alachua recently announced the FPF’s donation of 120 jars of peanut butter to Keeping Families United’s “Patriots at the Beach.” The jars of peanut butter will be shipped to 120 Special Forces soldiers serving in an undisclosed combat zone.

The Florida Peanut Federation became partners with the organization in 2017 and donated 100 jars of peanut butter, which were included in a food basket giveaway to special forces families during a Memorial Day getaway organized by “Patriots at the Beach.”

Permit Needed In Florida
Newly registered for Florida, AgLogic 15GG (gypsum formulation) is a granular nematicide available for use in Florida cotton and peanut. The active ingredient in this product is aldicarb, which was the same as Temik. Producers who plan to utilize this product for the upcoming 2018 crop season are required to obtain an aldicarb permit through the Florida Department of Agiculture and Consumer Services prior to application. A separate permit application is required for each field where aldicarb will be applied.

The one-page application for aldicarb in Florida can be submitted to FDACS by email to Tamara James at tamarajames@freshfromflorida.com or fax (850) 617-7895. The website for submitting applications on the existing aldicard (Temik) page should be updated soon.

Aside from the aldicarb permit, producers will also need to be in possession of a restricted use pesticide license, and strictly follow the label instructions for this product. See label for mandatory minimum distances between the nearest well and aldicarb application, as these distances vary based on soil type and well casing.

Grazing restrictions are also associated with this product. Peanut hay and vines cannot be fed to livestock following AgLogic application.