News Briefs: February 2023

In Brief: Funding for second year of aflatoxin and nutritional research in $1.7 trillion bill. Disaster assistance and request for trade help also included in President-signed bill. APC gets new leadership, funding assistance for marketing efforts. Buying Points plan winter conference in Point Clear, Alabama. NPB’s Parker announces retirement.

Appropriations Bill Highlights

The U.S. Congress has passed the $1.7 trillion fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which was signed by President Biden. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 consists of all 12 FY23 appropriation bills, including the $25.5 billion Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies funding bill.

Included are peanut provisions proposed by U.S. House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and supported by the peanut industry. These U.S. Peanut Federation-supported research initiatives — aflatoxin and nutrition — are in their second year. Funding for 2023 is $4 million for aflatoxin research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Georgia, and $1.5 million for the USDA Agricultural Research Service to work on nutritional priorities. The funding will support activities and projects working to mitigate aflatoxin in peanuts and enhance ongoing collaborations with land grant institutions to further advance research efforts. 

“USPF appreciates the recognition of the importance of peanut research in the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations bill,” says Karl Zimmer, USPF chairman. “Aflatoxin is an ongoing problem in the United States affecting the agricultural economy of all peanut-producing states, and it is essential that we invest in innovative research solutions.”

Peanut nutrition research will support projects working to identify how peanut consumption contributes to overall health, wellness and reduction of chronic disease risk. 

Funding For Disaster Assistance

The omnibus package includes more than $3 billion for disaster assistance related to the loss of revenue, quality or production losses of crops, trees, bushes and vines as a consequence of droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, tornadoes, winter storms, freeze, including a polar vortex, smoke exposure and excessive moisture occurring in calendar year 2022. 

“Peanut producers have experienced many difficulties this year, from adverse weather conditions to rising input costs,” says Joe Boddiford, Georgia Peanut Commission chairman. “The disaster assistance included in this appropriations legislation will help ensure peanut producers can continue to produce a good crop and keep the agricultural economy functioning and healthy.” 

A Call For Trade Help

Also included in the legislation is a request by U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade, to encourage the Office of the Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs to prioritize interagency coordination with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. It also calls for efforts to develop solutions that will allow increased market access for domestic peanuts into the European Union.” 

Karl Zimmer, USPF chairman says, “The European Union and United Kingdom are historically one of the largest export markets for U.S. peanuts. It is essential to the health of our  industry that we address trade barriers restricting exports to the EU.”

Lastly, the omnibus agreement includes language related to funding nutrition and feeding programs in the United States and abroad. The legislation encourages USDA to work with the United States Agency for International Development to support the scale up of U.S. production and procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods, and to develop a multi-year strategy to support this effort. The legislation also requires an increase in funding for nutrition programs, including $28.5 billion for Child Nutrition Programs. 

Marketing Promotion Funds Approved

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is awarding $202.7 million to more than 60 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand export markets for U.S. farm and food products through the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development.

Under the MAP, FAS is providing $175.6 million in initial fiscal year 2023 funding to 67 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. These organizations will use the funds to support U.S. producers with marketing and promotion activities around the globe, including market research, technical assistance and support for participation in trade fairs and exhibits. The average MAP participant provides more than $2.50 in contributions for every $1 in federal funding it receives through the program. The American Peanut Council will receive $2,498,181.


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