The Farm Bill is one of many issues facing Congress when after the election. Some estimate the “lame duck” session could run five weeks; some predict it will be called off. There are several issues like expiring tax cuts, the sequestration mandated cuts and, of course, the Farm Bill. The sequestration measure alone cuts $3 billion from the USDA budget.
In the continuing resolution, the food stamp program, crop insurance and some conservation programs continue to get funding until March 2013. However, the dairy program will not receive funding and there are restrictions on the Market Access Program for export promotions. The Market Loan Assistance programs for farmers are authorized until the completion of the 2012 crop.
Rep. James Clyburn, (D-SC), said, “America needs a good Farm Bill to assist these rural communities and to serve the nutrition needs of our low income citizens. The Senate passed a bipartisan Farm Bill with sound policies for rural America, as well as nutrition assistance for the most vulnerable members of our society. But the House Republican leadership walked away, and refused to allow that bipartisan bill to come to the floor.
“The Farm Bill expired Sept. 30, leaving 16 million jobs hanging in the balance.” Clyburn wants the House Bill to pass quickly and the differences to be worked out in conference.
Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, (D-MI), said, “It is unbelievable that we’re in this position now where there is so much uncertainty for farmers, ranchers and small businesses. The Senate came together in a bipartisan way, and we passed the Farm Bill. The House Ag Committee came together in a bipartisan way to pass a Farm Bill. It’s absolutely unacceptable that the House Republican leadership couldn’t devote one day to rural America and the 16 million jobs across the country that rely on agriculture.”
Help With Conservation Practices
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) applications are due by Nov. 2, 2012, in order to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2013.
A voluntary program, EQIP provides funds for conservation practices based on state-identified natural resource concerns, such as forestry, grazing, soil erosion, water conservation and water quality. Some of the more than 60 EQIP conservation practices include: pasture and hayland planting, heavy use areas, waste storage facilities, terracing, pest management, tree planting, organic crop assistance and wildlife habitat management. This list will vary based on locally prioritized conservation practices.
EQIP was established to provide technical and financial assistance to landowners to voluntarily address soil, water and related natural resource concerns on private lands.
Applications can be submitted at any NCRS office and/or USDA Service Center. For more information on EQIP, go to www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov and search under “programs.”
Producers Urged To Donate To Hungry
The National Peanut Buying Points Association and Peanut Proud are uniting to urge each producer to donate one ton of peanuts for hunger projects.
Every buying point has a sign-up sheet. Farmers can use the value of the peanuts as a tax deduction at the National Posted Price or the contract value. Be sure to check with an accountant. At the end of the season, the sheller will total the donations, shell the peanuts and send it to a peanut butter plant for making into product.
The farmer can designate where peanuts should go: world hunger projects or local food banks. The goal for Peanut Proud is 500 tons. If 8,000 growers gave one ton, it would help eliminate a surplus and save kids from starving. Ask your buying point for a pledge card.
New Members Appointed To NPB
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has appointed three members and four alternates to serve on the National Peanut Board.
Reappointed members are as follows: John C. Harrell, Whigham, Ga.; Bob White, Clarendon, Texas; and Francis “Vic” Jordan, III, Rayville, La. Alternate members are Jeffery Pittman, Bascom, Fla.; Andy Bell, Climax, Ga.; Peter Froese, Jr., Seminole, Texas and Kyle Baltz, Pocahontas, Ark.
Producers pay an assessment at the rate of one percent of the total value of all farmers’ stock peanuts sold to conduct promotion, market and production research, and new product development for the benefit of their industry.
Members and alternates will serve a three-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2013, and ending Dec. 31, 2015. One Florida alternate will serve for two years.
Sweepstakes Gets 1.3 Million Entries
With a ground breaking 1.3 million entries, the National Peanut Board’s “Peanuts: Energize Your World” sweepstakes culminated in September with the announcement of the top prizes, a 2012 Ford Focus and a family trip for four to a Six Flags theme park.
Peanut butter lover Nicholas Disanto of Boca Rotan, Fla., won the fuel-efficient car, which NPB Mississippi delegate and Domestic Promotions Committee Chair Don Self presented on behalf of the Board.
“This vehicle, the Six Flags trip and the other prizes were a huge incentive for consumers,” he said. “Every single person who clicked the sweepstakes link online or entered at a Six Flags park came across at least one of our key messages about the nutritional benefits of peanuts and peanut butter.”
Kathleen Pagac of Waterford, Mich., won the Six Flags family vacation. Many other winners also received instant prizes that ranged from mp3 players and tshirts to products provided by the program co-presenters: Hampton Farms (in-shell peanuts), Planters (snack peanuts) and Peanut Butter & Co. (peanut butter).
“We had high expectations for this campaign from the start, but never did we imagine that we would receive 1.3 million entries,” said NPB President and Managing Director Marie Fenn. “We hit on the right combination of a muchloved and highly nutritious product, great co-presenters and a well-designed and executed campaign.”
Hubbard Peanut Co. Wins Award
Hubbard Peanut Co, Inc., has been selected for the Chairman’s Award in a University of Virginia Darden School of Business competition that highlights and promotes businesses that demonstrate sustained vitality in communities facing challenging economic conditions.
Businesses that bridge cultural divides, support local charities and bring economic hope to their communities are sought for the application process of the Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award competition.
Hubbard Peanut Company was founded by Dot and H.J. Hubbard in 1954 using a unique cooking process that has since become an industry mainstay. Their daughter, Lynne Rabil, president of the company, along with support from her family, board of directors and a strong team of employees, continues to manage the company with the founding values and the community in mind. The company’s location in a disadvantaged area has inspired them to support local schools and charitable organizations, not only financially but through involvement and leadership.
During its nearly 60 years in business, the Hubbard Peanut Company has endured numerous challenges, including a fire that destroyed a key part of their facility, but the company – recognized for its Hubs brand peanuts – has persevered and grown.
Sunland, Inc. Expands Ongoing Recall
Sunland, Inc. today announced a voluntary expansion of its ongoing recall of all products manufactured in its Peanut Butter Plant because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Specifically, the recall is being expanded to include all products manufactured in its Peanut Butter Plant after March 1, 2010. The scope of the initial recall covered 101 products. The expanded recall adds 49 products that are currently within the manufacturer’s recommended shelf-life, that is, the “Best-If-Used-By” dates have not expired. The expanded recall adds 90 products consumers may still have in their homes which are older than the “Best- If-Used-By Date.”
The expanded recall covers all previously identified Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, and Tahini products as well as Roasted Blanched Peanut Products. New product categories being added to the list are several varieties of flavored butters and spreads, including Thai Ginger Butter, Chocolate Butter and Banana Butter.
“For 22 years, Sunland has been committed to producing high-quality, safe products and taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety and good health of everyone who enjoys them. We are most concerned about the individuals experiencing these recent illnesses.
“Sunland is dedicating all of its resources to the identification and correction of any conditions which have created the potential for Salmonella contamination in any of our products. We are reviewing every step in our manufacturing process and are confident that the expertise being applied to the investigation will enable Sunland to take any necessary corrective measures and once again produce products that families will enjoy with confidence,” said Jimmie Shearer, President and CEO of Sunland, Inc., in a released statement.
The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the FDA.
37th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show Set
Make plans now to attend the 37th Annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference scheduled for Thursday, January 17, 2013, at the University of Georgia-Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The annual show will be held in Tifton for the first time in 30 years and is free to attend for all participants.
This new location features two auditoriums, seating 2,000 and 300 people respectively; several break-out meeting rooms for 50 to 150 people; banquet hall with seating for over 800; and ample exhibit space throughout the Conference Center, indoors and outdoors. The show organizers expect 1,500 to 2,000 farmers and industry representatives in attendance.
Peanut farmers will have the opportunity to visit with more than 75 agribusinesses and organizations in the peanut industry. Also, farmers are able to earn private and commercial pesticide applicators certification and learn up-to-date knowledge on cutting edge research and developments during the University of Georgia Peanut Production Seminars and the industry-wide sponsored Peanut Seed Seminar.
Farmers will have the opportunity to tour the research facilities on the University of Georgia-Tifton Campus and tour their new Georgia Peanut Commission offices located adjacent to I-75 across from ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village. A free lunch will also be provided to all registered farmers.
Farm Show Chairman Rodney Dawson is optimistic about the 1,500 plus farmers estimated to be in attendance. “I encourage farmers to leave their fields and attend this one day show and conference because the information they will receive is an investment in their future. There is definitely a lot of knowledge to be gained at the show,” Dawson says.
At the close of the day, there will be $45,000 in prizes presented to farmers for the Grand Door Prize, vendor products, certificates and equipment. Donors include Kelley Manufacturing Company, AMADAS Industries and approximately 30 other exhibitors.
For more information on the show, contact the Georgia Peanut Commission office in Tifton at 229-386-3470 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available on the commission Web site at www.gapeanuts.com.
Stay Safe On The Roads
Crashes involving farm equipment on Georgia’s roads increased by 33 percent in 2011, and leaders of Georgia’s agriculture and highway safety agencies recently joined forces to draw attention to the need for safety on the state’s rural roads. Gary Black, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, launched the second annual “Improving Georgia’s Yield Behind the Wheel” campaign.
Among the 401 reported accidents involving farm equipment last year, five resulted in fatalities. Many more resulted in serious injuries.
Supported by the Georgia Farm Bureau, Commissioner Black and Director Blackwood appeared together at the Georgia National Fair in Perry and the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie in October, reminding both farmers and motorists of the importance of sharing the road.
Deadly crashes in rural areas are all too frequently attributed to speed on the often open roads. Likewise, vehicles approaching farm equipment at a speed of 55 MPH can travel the length of a football field within seconds, and have little time to react.
Producers should remember that Georgia law requires operators of slow moving vehicles to place a reflector on any machine that travels the road slower than 25 MPH. Producers in other states should investigate what the laws are in their state.
All producers should remember to always point the triangle reflector upwards, keep the emblem clean to maximize reflectivity and replace the emblem when it fades, normally every two to three years. Mark the edges of tractors and machines with reflective tape and reflectors. Consider installing retrofit lighting on older machinery to increase visibility. Turn on your light, but turn off spotlights when going onto the road.
Avoid the highway during rush hour and bad weather. Do not drive before sunrise or after sunset.
Consider installing mirrors on equipment to enable you to be more aware of motorists around you.