News Briefs

Crop Quality Loss Payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency recently announced signup for the Quality Loss Adjustment program. Funded by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, this new program provides assistance to producers who suffered eligible crop quality losses due to natural disasters occurring in 2018 and 2019. The deadline to apply for QLA is March 5, 2021.

“Farmers and livestock producers nationwide experienced crop quality losses due to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019,” says Bill Northey, USDA under secretary for farm production and conservation. “We have worked diligently over the past couple of years to roll out meaningful disaster assistance programs to help alleviate the substantial financial loss experienced by so many agricultural producers and are pleased to offer quality loss assistance as added relief. Many of the eligible producers have already received compensation for quantity losses.”

Assistance is based on a producer’s harvested affected production of an eligible crop, which must have had at least a 5% quality loss reflected through a quality discount, or for forage crops, a nutrient loss, such as total digestible nutrients.

For more information, visit farmers.gov/quality-loss, or contact your USDA Service Center. Producers can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364.

Aflatoxin Research Funding

Two important peanut-related issues were addressed by Congress recently. Included in the fiscal year 2021 appropriations legislation is $1.5 million in funding for peanut aflatoxin research at the USDA National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia.

Congress also approved the COVID-19 economic stimulus package providing $13 billion in support to the agriculture sector.

This included $11.2 billion to USDA to support producers, processors and contract growers impacted by the coronavirus. Specific provisions include a payment of $20 per planted acre for row crops and a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.

Tariff Limits EU Market Access

The United States will impose additional tariffs on aircraft parts, wine and other alcohol from Europe as retaliation for the European Union’s latest round of tariffs in the long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute, according to a U.S. trade representative. The EU is now requiring a 25% tariff on peanut imports.

The EU and United Kingdom are an important market for U.S. peanuts. In 2019, the EU imported nearly $180 million worth of peanuts and peanut products. Nearly all of these were in-shell and shelled peanuts that can be sourced from countries other than the United States.

The U.S. peanut industry will not be able to compete in the EU and UK markets with this additional tariff.

The U.S. Peanut Federation has asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to assist in resolving these trade issues.

Florida Producers Plan Meeting

The Florida Peanut Federation will hold their annual membership meeting and banquet Feb. 20, in the banquet hall on the Florida Gateway Fairgrounds in Lake City, Florida. For more information, visit https://floridapeanutfederation.org.

APRES Publishes Third Edition

peanut science journalThe American Peanut Research and Education Society held a virtual meeting July 2020, but the group also responded to the pandemic by publishing a third issue of Peanut Science.

Kim Cutchins, APRES executive director, explains, “APRES published three issues of Peanut Science this year to that show our research and education community that we were still working hard even if they couldn’t be in the lab or fields.”

Peanut Science is an open-access, peer-reviewed online research journal dedicated to publishing the results of research, education, and Extension projects and programs related to the production, storage, processing, manufacturing or marketing of peanuts.

For information on APRES or Peanut Science, visit www.apresinc.com. Researchers and Extension are now busy conducting virtual production meetings to start the 2021 season.