News Briefs

pg1-17inbriefProgram Sign Up Underway

The enrollment period for selecting Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs was announced by USDA FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. Producers on farms with base acres should visit their county FSA office to enroll in one of the programs for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1, 2017.

“FSA issued more than $7 billion in payments in October 2016 under the ARC-County and PLC programs for the 2015 crop to assist enrolled producers who suffered a loss of price or revenue or both,” said Dolcini.

“Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year. I encourage you to contact your local FSA office today to schedule an appointment to enroll.”

If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in 2015 must still enroll during the 2017 enrollment period.

The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

For more regarding these programs, go to

Georgia Peanut Farm Show

The 41st annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference is scheduled for Thurs., Jan. 19, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to-2:30 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The one-day show is free and open to all farmers and industry representatives. More than 1,000 peanut farmers are expected to attend.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with more than 100 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut and agricultural industry. Farmers will be able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicators’ certification, as well as learn about cutting-edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminar and industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar.

Farm Show chairman Rodney Dawson is looking forward to the 2017 show and having a large crowd attend like previous years. “I encourage farmers to attend this one-day show in Tifton,” Dawson said. “The knowledge they will gain from industry representatives and seminars is an investment in the future of their farm.”

The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with OneBlood, will host a blood drive during the show. At the close of the day, there will be nearly $10,000 in door prizes presented to farmers, as well as a Grand

Door Prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment.
For more information on the show, visit the Georgia Peanut Commission website at

pg1-17inmemoriamrobertbobscottUSDA Approves Promotion Funds

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is awarding $200 million to more than 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand export markets for U.S. farm and food products through the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.

Under MAP, FAS will provide $173.5 million in fiscal year 2017 funding to 70 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. The organizations use the funds to help U.S. agricultural producers promote their products to consumers around the globe through activities such as market research, technical assistance, and support for participation in trade fairs and exhibits. MAP participants contribute an average 137 percent match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives.

The American Peanut Council will continue its outstanding export promotion program with an allocation of $571,171 for FMD projects and $2,494,102 in MAP funding.

APC Elects 2016-17 Officers

At the Winter Conference of the American Peanut Council meeting in Washington DC, new officers were elected as follows:

Nick Melhuish, Algood Food Company
Chairman Charles Birdsong, Birdsong Peanuts
Chairman-Elect Sid Levy, SGL International, LLC
Secretary-Treasurer Otis Johnson, Texas Peanut Producers Board, Past Chairman

The APC also approved an updated domestic budget for 2017 of $740,236. The 2017 USA Peanut Congress is set for June 25-28, 2017, at Amelia Island, Fla. The 2018 USA Peanut Congress will also be held at Amelia Island.

Outstanding Fla. Farmer Honored

Ed Ham of Ham Peanut Company in Greenwood, Fla., has been named the 2016 Peanut Farmer of the Year by the Jackson County Extension Service with assistance from the Florida Peanut Producers Association. Ham started with Pender Peanut Company where he became general manager. He started the buying point, Ham Peanut Company in 1983. He still farms about 250 acres of peanuts, 250 acres of cotton and about 70 acres of corn. Peanut are grown for seed and irrigated except of 33 acres. As for the buying point, Ham peanut company buys about 6,000 tons and shells over 1,500 tons for seed. Ham Peanut Company is now a $4 million business with 10 full-time employees. Ed and wife Becky have five children and she is administrative assistant at the Jackson County Health Department.

Brenneman Honored By UGA

newsbriefphoto1-17Tim Brenneman, University of Georgia plant pathologist, was awarded the 2016 D. W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. Much of Brenneman’s career has focused on disease management in peanuts and pecans. In peanuts, most of his research work has centered on leaf spot and white mold control.

Most recently he has been an advocate for fungicide applications at night or early morning when the peanut canopy is folded up and soilborne disease materials are more able to move down into the crown of the plant where white mold is more likely to be expressed. He also promotes the use of irrigation to wash fungicides down toward the soil and the use of early season banded sprays to get maximum control possible.

Brenneman has been a major influence in helping peanut farmers achieve better yields.

Buying Points Meet In Tampa

The National Peanut Buying Points Association will hold their annual Winter Conference Feb. 17-20, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The meeting and accommodations will be at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. Download a registration form from or email Angela Elder at

Anyone interested in sponsoring the conference or hosting a table top exhibit, please give Angela or Tyron a call at 229-386-1716 or email

Accurate Allergy Info Needed

A wide-ranging report, Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: Assessment of the Global Burden, Causes, Prevention, Management, and Public Policy; recently issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, calls for more accurate prevalence statistics, education and training, access to treatment and increased understanding of and approaches to food allergies. The National Peanut Board was one of the study’s 11 co-sponsors.

The report identifies broad areas and actions needed to improve the food allergy safety landscape in the U.S., while pinpointing needs for more research, better diagnostic tools and more effective educational approaches to food allergies. Recommendations are given to policy makers, industry leaders, health professionals and others to bring about a safe environment for those with food allergy.

The report addresses the confusion about accurate diagnosis of food allergies; both from a consumer standpoint and the medical community. According to an NASEM news release, “the public and health care providers frequently misinterpret a food allergy and its symptoms [and] cannot differentiate a food allergy from other immune and gastrointestinal diseases.”

Bob Parker, NPB president and CEO, says “This report is good news for the peanut and food allergy community. We wholeheartedly agree that more resources should be directed toward accurate diagnosis. We’re glad to see they recommend giving better evidence-based information and support to those who manage their own food allergies.”

The committee noted that there is too little research being conducted in food allergy prevention and treatment. The National Peanut Board is proud to have invested more than $11 million in peanut allergy research, awareness and education since its inception in 2001. Of equal importance is the Board’s co-sponsorship of the groundbreaking LEAP and LEAP-On studies, which found early introduction of peanut protein to infants to be a significant factor in the prevention of peanut allergies.


Jan. 19, 2017 — Georgia Peanut Farm Show, UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton, Ga. Exhibits open at 8:30 a.m. and production seminar begins at 9 a.m. For information, call 229-386-3470 or visit
Jan. 26, 2017 — South Carolina Peanut Show, Santee Convention Center, Santee, S.C. Meeting starts at 9 a.m. For info, contact Dan Anco at
Jan. 25-26, 2017 — 12th Annual Meeting and Trade Show of Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, Mississippi State University, Bost Building B. For information, call 601-606-3547 or visit
Feb. 9, 2017 — Alabama/Florida Peanut Trade Show, National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, Dothan, Ala. For information, visit or call 334-792-6482.
Feb. 16, 2017 — Florida Peanut Producers Annual Meeting, Jackson County Agri-Complex, Marianna, Fla. For information, visit or call 850-526-2590.
Feb. 17-20, 2017 — Annual Meeting and Convention of the National Peanut Buying Points Association, Waterside Marriott, Tampa, Fla. Register at or email
March 23, 2017 — Oklahoma Peanut Expo, Southwest Technology Center, Altus, Okla. For more information, contact Ron Scholar at

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