Recapping 2020 Exports: A Banner Year
The American Peanut Council reported that for calendar year 2020, peanut exports totaled 910,101 farmer-stock tons valued at $759.6 million, up 20% by volume and 12% by value compared to the previous year.
The APC says this represents the second highest total in history behind only 2016 and corresponds to a record high 33% of total production.
Shipments to China accounted for nearly 44% of total exports by volume and reached 395,840 farmer-stock tons for $296 million, up 224% by volume and 177% by value compared to 2019. Exports to Canada totaled 198,787 tons for $193 million, down 0.13% by volume but up nearly 7% by value. Shipments to Mexico fell 4% by volume and 3% by value at 175,125 tons for $138 million.
Exports to Europe totaled 73,456 tons for $71 million, down 59% by volume and 54% by value compared to the previous year due to the import tariff. Shipments to Japan totaled 20,660 farmer-stock tons for $25 million, down nearly 20% by volume and 21% by value. Exports to all other areas declined 3% by volume and 2% by value to reach 46,232 tons for $81 million.
The APC administers export promotions for U.S. peanuts. Funding is shared between the U.S. peanut industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The efforts are funded through the Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development and other related programs administered by USDA. Each year, the U.S. peanut industry comes together to review and revise an international strategic plan or unified export strategy, which is then submitted to FAS for review, approval and allocation of funds.
Calls For Tariff Relief Grow
According to the APC, calls for relief from the European Union’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products are increasing. A coalition of nearly 90 trade associations, including the APC, sent a letter to U.S. and EU leaders seeking a permanent suspension of retaliatory tariffs related to Airbus and Boeing World Trade Organization disputes.
In the dispute, the EU placed a 25% tariff on U.S. peanuts, which in February was suspended until July 11. Separately, in response to tariffs placed on EU steel and aluminum, the EU imposed 25% tariffs on U.S. peanut butter, among other products. Companies such as Harley-Davidson are now publicly calling for relief from those tariffs, which are scheduled to double on June 1.
NIFA Wants Peanut Research Projects
With the completion of the Peanut Genomic Initiative, which completely mapped the peanut genome, the next step is to link key traits with genetic markers. This will make breeding more precise and faster.
To that end, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has accepted a joint proposal from the National Peanut Board and The Peanut Research Foundation that will qualify for dollar-for-dollar matching funds for an approved research project in the amount of $500,000.
The project must focus on using phenotyping to identify marker-trait associations in the peanut core collection to expand the use of marker-trait associations for yield improvement.
Proposals must have a letter of support from the National Peanut Board before being considered by NIFA.
Georgia Commission Reaffirmed
The Georgia Peanut Commission was reaffirmed with a vote of 94.43%, the highest the commission has received in its nearly 60-year existence. As required by law, the state’s peanut farmers vote on the commission with a referendum every three years. Ballots were mailed to producers the week of March 15, and the certified public accounting firm of Allen, Pritchett and Bassett counted the ballots on April 23.
“Our staff is humbled by the support of peanut farmers in Georgia,” says Don Koehler, GPC executive director. “We will continue to seek opportunities through programs in research, education and promotion to enhance profit opportunities on the farm.”
“I am thankful our board and staff have been able to work in the areas of research, promotion and education of peanuts, as well as support efforts in Washington to maintain legislation that is helpful for peanut farmers,” says Armond Morris, GPC chairman.
Georgia peanut farmers invest $2 per ton annually to the commission. For additional information, visit www.gapeanuts.com.
USA Peanut Congress Announced
The 2021 USA Peanut Congress will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 28 through July 1.
The 25th annual USA Peanut Congress is a joint meeting of the American Peanut Council and the American Peanut Shellers Association and will be held at the historic Roosevelt Hotel.
Officials of both organizations are working on an exciting program. APC chairman Karl Zimmer of Premium Peanut says, “We are looking forward to safely reconvening and reconnecting in person this June. There are plenty of opportunities for industry partners to get involved.”
NC Grower Association Selects New CEO
Lynn Hobbs, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association president, recently announced Ashley Collins as the new chief executive officer. Collins has more than 16 years’ experience in the agricultural industry, most recently serving as the director of collegiate relations and communication for Agriculture Future of America.
In this role, she was responsible for establishing and fostering relationships with more than 200 colleges and universities across the country. As such, she developed connections targeted to promote the organization as an avenue for young agricultural professionals to engage in leadership development experiences to enhance their future careers.
Prior to joining AFA, Collins served as the education and marketing manager for AgCareers.com, where for more than a decade she designed and managed a variety of student outreach initiatives as well as corporate training efforts, enabling a variety of agricultural companies to implement top-talent recruitment programs.
“I am thrilled to serve the producers of one of North Carolina’s most iconic commodities and look forward to an exciting future as the peanut industry is experiencing many advancements in production, research, innovation and consumer demand,” says Collins.
“I am also honored and humbled to follow the tenure of Bob Sutter, who successfully led the association for nearly 30 years and to have the opportunity to learn from him before his official retirement.”
Collins is a graduate of North Carolina State University, with a bachelor of science in agricultural education, as well as of North Carolina A&T State University with a master of science in agricultural education. She serves on the North Carolina FFA Foundation Board, the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni and Friends Society and is currently a member of the inaugural Palmetto LEAF leadership class.
Collins and her husband, Guy, live in Bailey, North Carolina.
Better Brain Health With Peanuts
The Peanut Institute continues its support of the MIND Diet study, led by researchers from Harvard and Rush Universities. In April 2021, a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that adherence to the MIND diet was associated with a 59% reduced risk of having a stroke.
The MIND diet combines nutritious foods like peanuts, peanut butter, berries and leafy vegetables to create a diet that promotes better brain health and cognitive function.
Texas Producers Are Feeding America
Southern Ag Carriers will be promoting Texas peanuts by declaring that they are feeding America, one nut at a time. The promotion is a partnership between the Texas Peanut Producers Board, the National Peanut Board and Southern Ag Carriers.
Texas Peanut Producers Board executive director Shelly Nutt says, “We had decals installed on five Southern Ag Carriers trailers, and we’re applying for a grant from our state department of agriculture to purchase decals for 10 more.”