Saturday, October 16, 2021

News Briefs

2020 Crop Value

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, peanuts averaged about 21 cents per pound or $414 per ton last season, 1% higher than 2019. The value of the crop at the farm level is $1.27 billion, a 12.7% increase from 2019. Harvested peanut acres were up 16.3%.

The highest average price was paid in New Mexico at $656 per ton, followed by Texas at $526 per ton. The lowest price average was paid in Arkansas at $388 per ton. Mississippi and Georgia were next lowest at about $400 per ton.

Approximately 51% of peanut revenue was produced in Georgia. Ranking second in revenue was Alabama at 10%, followed by Florida with 9%.[divider]

Quality Adjustment Program Deadline Extended

Because of recent winter storms and clarifications needed for the program rules, USDA is extending the deadline to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment Program.

The U.S. Peanut Federation urged USDA to extend the deadline because of the need for clarity in the rules.

The QLA program assists producers whose eligible crops suffered quality losses due to qualifying drought, excessive moisture, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, or wildfires in 2018 and 2019.

Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage is available, especially peanuts and cotton that experienced quality losses these two years.

Assistance is available in counties that received a presidential emergency disaster declaration or secretarial disaster designation. For drought, a county rated by the U.S. Drought monitor as having a D3 designation (extreme drought) or higher. Producers in counties that did not receive a qualifying declaration or designation may still apply but must also provide supporting documentation.

FSA will issue payments once the application period ends. If the total amount of calculated QLA payments exceeds available program funding, payments will be prorated.[divider]

Trade Office Appoints Peanut Committee

The USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently announced the appointment of several new members to serve on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Tobacco, Cotton and Peanuts. Those representing the peanut industry include: Grant Belden – Golden Peanut & Tree Nuts; Dell Cotton – Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association; Stephanie Grunenfelder – American Peanut Council; Greg Harnish – Birdsong Peanuts; Don Koehler – Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Peanuts; Richard Pasco – Mars Wrigley; Evans Plowden – American Peanut Shellers Association; Karl Zimmer – Premium Peanut.

Members of ATAC provide advice and information regarding trade issues that affect both domestic and foreign production and trade concerning tobacco, cotton and peanuts. In addition, ATAC members furnish advisory opinions and reports regarding trade policy as requested by the secretary of agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative or their designees.[divider]

Hormel To Acquire Planters

Planters has been producing snack nuts for 115 years, but the future will be under the direction of Hormel, a company known for Spam and other meat products.

Hormel acquired Planters from Kraft Heinz for $3.35 billion. The deal, the largest in Hormel’s history, was funded with a mix of cash on hand and the issuance of new debt. It’s expected to close in the second quarter.

The marriage has long been rumored for several reasons. First, Hormel has a strong position in the nut butter market with well-known brands Skippy and Justin’s. Adding Planters brings Hormel more into the nut snacks category. The transaction also brings Hormel into the snacking business overall as Planters includes the Cheez Balls and Corn Nuts brands.

According to Hormel, Planters’ net sales in 2020 were roughly $1 billion, and owning the brand will enhance overall profit margins and cash flow.[divider]

Groundbreaking Held For Coastal Growers

coastal growers groundbreakingThe city of Atmore, Alabama, and Coastal Growers LLC held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off company operations. The event was held in front of Coastal Growers’ new facility at 250 Carpet Drive, across from Masland Carpets in the Atmore Industrial Park. Distinguished speakers included included Gov.r Kay Ivey, Mayor Jim Staff, Coastal Growers president and CEO Dirk Lindsey, as well as managing partners Joe Parker and Brad Smith.

Farmers in southwest Alabama and some from Georgia joined together to form Coastal Growers. The cooperative shelling and storage facility will sit on more than 60 acres, cost $87 million and is expected to bring more than 150 jobs to the area.

Smith and Parker, two of the driving forces behind the project, say the Atmore location is the perfect site for the company.

“The peanuts we have in this area are among the highest quality available, yet we really have no infrastructure for shelling,” says Parker, who is owner and general manager of Summerdale Peanut in Baldwin County.

Glenn Spivey, president of Dothan’s Hollis & Spann Inc., will lead construction efforts for the project. Spivey says the new facility, encompassing more than 400,000 square feet, will take about a year to build.[divider]

Georgia Peanut Commission Leads Celebration

georgia peeanut commissionTo kick off “March is National Peanut Month,” the Georgia Peanut Commission hosted the Georgia PB&J Day at the Capitol and donated 10,080 jars of peanut butter to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Ben Burgess, corporate relations manager says, “One jar can make several meals for a family or individual in need. This donation will help the nearly 20% of Georgia residents and the one-in-four children who are food insecure in the state.”

Atlanta Community Food Bank serves more than 700 nonprofit partner agencies with hunger relief programs throughout 29 counties in metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

In other events, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp presented a proclamation recognizing March as National Peanut Month while Sen. Larry Walker III, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, and Rep. Robert Dickey, chairman of the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, presented resolutions recognizing the importance of Georgia’s peanut industry.

Peanuts and peanut butter were promoted during the event by industry partners serving grilled PB&Js, country-fried peanuts, peanut candy and more.

Sponsors included the Georgia Peanut Commission, National Peanut Buying Points Association, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Federal State Inspection Service, American Peanut Shellers Association, The Peanut Institute, Premium Peanut, Southern Ag Carriers, The Hershey Co., Peanut Proud, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Loyal Q and Brew, and Just Bakery of Atlanta.

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