News Briefs

Generic Base Eliminated
Congress cleared a budget agreement and disaster-aid package that has a significant impact on farmers for the 2018 crop year. The budget agreement passed the House by a vote of 240 to 186 and passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 28. The President has also signed the legislation.

The legislation includes $90 billion in disaster assistance for communities impacted by storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and flooding. The legislation also includes provisions for cotton farmers by making seed cotton eligible for Title 1 Agriculture Risk Coverage and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.
Due to the new provisions for seed cotton, the generic base acres for farmers are eliminated for the 2018 crop. Growers will have to choose whether or not to move generic base acres to seed cotton base only or using the 2009-2012 crop year history and moving generic base acres to other covered commodities such as peanuts and seed cotton.

Additional details will be forthcoming as the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency publishes details on how this will function for the 2018 crop.

Decision Calculator Available
To assist farmers in planning, the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness (NCPC) has launched the “2018 Seed Cotton Generic Base and Payment Yield Updating Calculator.”

The calculator was developed after reviewing the text of the seed cotton provision in the recently passed budget agreement and disaster aid package. The contents followed the procedures outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill for the other covered commodities payment yield updating and base reallocation provisions. Thus, the NCPC was able to utilize their previous decision aid built in 2014 that was based on the 2014 Farm Bill.

State grower checkoff funds, through the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, helped with the development of the decision calculator. Funding also came through the Southeastern Peanut Research Initiative of the National Peanut Board and farmer checkoff dollars from Texas.

A fact sheet and the decision calculator is available for download on the Georgia Peanut Commission’s website, www.gapeanuts.com.

GPC Farm Show Awards
More than 1,300 producers had an opportunity to view products and services of more than 109 exhibitors, as well as gain production information from University of Georgia researchers at the 42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference on Jan. 18, 2018, at UGA’s Tifton Campus. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The GPC presented several awards, including the following: Distinguished Service Award – Jeff Johnson, retired president of Birdsong Peanuts; Research and Education Award – Albert Culbreath, University of Georgia plant pathologist; Media Award – Craig Harney, video producer of special projects at WTOC; and Georgia Peanut Special Award to Matt Baldwin, professional bullfighter who promotes Georgia peanuts.

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, sponsored by the GPC and BASF, was presented to Elton Baldy of Norman Park. He received a sign to display at his farm and a trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July.

The GPC and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to individuals from the commission’s five districts. Winners included: District 1 – Ike Newberry, Arlington; District 2 – Chip Dorminy, Fitzgerald; District 3 – Charles Smith Jr., Wadley; District 4 – James “Roy” Malone Sr., Dexter; and District 5 – Marvin and Dania DeVane, Cuthbert. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and a $100 gift card from Agri Supply.

The Grand Door Prize, donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co., was presented to Lamar Merritt of Wray, Ga., and Shane Pridgen of Broxton, Ga. Merritt received one season’s use of a new KMC combine and the option to purchase it at $15,000 off the list price. Pridgen received one season’s use of a new KMC digger shaker inverter or dump cart and the option to purchase it at 10 percent off the list price.

Amadas Industries provided the Grower Door Prize to Stanley Corbett of Lake Park, Ga. Corbett received one season’s use of a new Amadas peanut digger/inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of a pull-type peanut combine.
NPB: $1.7 Million For Research

The National Peanut Board reviewed funding for FY-18 state peanut production research projects during its quarterly Board meeting in Atlanta in February. Recommendations for 55 project proposals totaling $1,741,411.16 million were reviewed and approved.

Each year, NPB allocates funding for state and regionally identified research programs to maximize value for the dollar, eliminate duplication, encourage collaboration and eliminate gaps.

Since 2001, NPB has invested $31 million in production research and $13 million over the past five years. Funding groundbreaking production research to improve the economic condition of America’s peanut farmers and their families is a core part of the Board’s mission.

International Meeting Planned
The International Peanut Forum is a popular worldwide networking event with peanut farmers, shellers, exporters, brokers, dealers, manufacturers, testing laboratories and equipment suppliers from around the world participating. The theme of the 2018 conference is “Peanuts – the Protein for Tomorrow’s Champions” and session topics range from nutrition and allergy research to new product launches and supply & demand. Whether you are a supplier, buyer, QA manager or in marketing, the IPF has something for everyone.

The event will start with a Welcome Reception on the evening of April 11 and conference sessions will run during the mornings of April 12-13. Afternoons have been kept free so that delegates can organize meetings with suppliers/buyers and the coffee breaks, lunches and the two Receptions allow for plenty of time for networking and visiting with the exhibitors.

For additional information, go to www.peanutsusa.com.

USA Peanut Congress Set
Registration is now open for the 22nd Annual USA Peanut Congress, a joint annual meeting of the American Peanut Shellers Association and the American Peanut Council on June 23-27, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. More than 400 peanut industry leaders are expected to attend this meeting.
The host associations plan a comprehensive and informative business program with speakers from government and industry who will address current issues and topics of interest to all industry segments. For registration and hotel information, please go to www.peanut-shellers.org.

PB From Florida Peanut Federation
In honor of National Peanut Butter Day, the Florida Peanut Federation donated 6,480 jars of peanut butter to Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida, which serves dozens of schools in Alachua and Levy Counties. This is in addition to the 2,700 jars of peanut butter given to Suwannee County’s backpack program and 500 jars to IFAS Wakulla Extension’s Peanut Butter drive in December.

In March, National Peanut Month, the Florida Peanut Federation will give away an additional 6,480 jars of peanut butter to several regional food banks and county back pack programs in Florida.

“With over 3.3 million Floridians facing hunger, including 1.1 million children and 700,000 seniors, our members want to do their part in combatting this epidemic,” says Deborah Tannenbaum, FPF executive director.

Grant To Help Alleviate Hunger
The University of Georgia has received a $14 million grant from the U.S. Agency of International Development to manage the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut Research, known as the Peanut Lab, a global peanut research program that works to alleviate hunger by helping farmers in developing countries grow healthy crops. The agreement builds on UGA and USAID’s long-standing partnership on global peanut research dating to the 1980s.

“For nearly a century, the University of Georgia and our partners have focused tremendous research and Extension resources toward developing advanced peanut varieties, improving production methods and increasing yields to create a steady supply of high-quality peanut protein,” says Sam Pardue, dean and director of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “With our partnership with USAID, we are committed to continue those efforts to ensure food security at home and around the world.”

As the leader of this Feed the Future Innovation Lab—one of 24 such labs across the U.S.—UGA will manage and coordinate a range of research projects by researchers at U.S. universities and partner institutions abroad. In the past, peanut research supported by this program has helped reduce post-harvest losses and boost plant productivity, food safety, and maternal and child nutrition. The new program will build on many of the successes of the previous Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab by developing new varieties and focusing on pre- and postharvest management, and will also work on new research projects in the areas of peanut-based nutrition, gender and youth.