News Briefs

Program Enrollment Deadline

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency encourages producers to enroll now in the agriculture risk or price loss coverage programs. Sign up for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020, while sign up for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same FSA visit.

ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA office together, yield information can be updated at that time.

Third Trade Mitigation Payment

At the direction of President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the third and final market facilitation program payment to assist farmers from unjustified trade retaliation.

Payments were made by FSA under the authority of Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to producers of most crops, including peanuts. MFP assistance was based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019.

“It’s been a great start to 2020 for American agriculture with the signing of the historic Phase One Deal with China and the signing of USMCA,” says Perdue. “While these agreements are welcome news, we must not forget that 2019 was a tough year for farmers as they were the tip of the spear when it came to unfair trade retaliation.

President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America’s farmers and ranchers, and this third tranche of 2019 MFP payments is proof. President Trump is following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access just like he did with China.”

Georgia Research Report Day

The Georgia Peanut Commission’s annual research report day was held recently in Tifton. The event provided growers and industry representatives an opportunity to hear the latest reports and newest information available on GPC-funded peanut research projects.

“The commission works to wisely invest peanut farmers’ dollars into research projects across Georgia in an effort to reduce input costs and improve agronomic techniques,” says Donald Chase, GPC Research Committee chairman. “Although some of the findings are preliminary, the projects are exciting, and many times new recommendations or observations are announced.”

The GPC awarded $653,901 in 2019 for 35 research projects from the University of Georgia, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The research focuses on variety development, conservation methods, irrigation and water management as well as pest, weed and disease management. Research reports are available online at www.gapeanuts.com.

FDA Approves First Peanut Allergy Drug Treatment

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Palforzia, produced by Aimmune Therapeutics, to reduce allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which may occur from accidental exposure to peanuts. Palforzia is an oral immunotherapy shown to help some children and teens increase tolerance, reducing the likelihood of a serious reaction from accidental exposure to peanuts.

The National Peanut Board released the following statement supporting FDA’s approval:

“Children living with peanut allergies now have a treatment option that can profoundly change their lives. Oral immunotherapy is not a cure, but it has already been shown to improve the quality of life significantly for those who completed the trials.

“As America’s peanut farmers, we are grateful to the researchers and families who stayed focused on this outcome because they believed a better future for allergy sufferers was both possible and important. Whether to choose oral immunotherrapy or continue to avoid peanuts is a personal decision and should be made in consultation with a physician or healthcare provider.”

Alabama/Florida Trade Show

More than 500 farmers attended the 15th annual Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show in February. Featured speakers included National Peanut Board President and CEO Bob Parker, National Peanut Research Lab Research Director Marshall Lamb and The Redding Firm’s Bob Redding.

The grand door prize winner was Chris Long of Bascom, Florida. Long received one season’s use of a KMC peanut combine. Additionally, he has the option of purchasing the combine at $15,000 off the list price at the end of the 2020 season.

Amadas Industries provided the grower door prize to Joey Koptis of Robertsdale, Alabama. Koptis received a certificate for one of the following options: $10,000 toward the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled peanut combine; $5,000 toward the purchase of a new Amadas pull-type combine; $2,000 toward the purchase of a new Amadas peanut digger; or $1,000 toward the purchase of a new Amadas peanut dump cart.

Colombo North America presented a certificate for $10,000 off the purchase of a Colombo combine to Jace Miniger, Walnut Hill, Florida. Clay Mixon of Dothan, Alabama, won a free trip to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July. Sammy Williams of Columbia, Alabama, won a Benelli Nova 12-gauge shotgun.

Use The Peanut Emoji, Help Feed The Hungry

In January, the National Peanut Board launched a new consumer campaign, Spreading Good, focused on spreading peanuts and goodwill.

Throughout 2020, NPB will be activating a collection of purpose-driven initiatives centered on doing good with peanuts and peanut butter. The new Spreading Good campaign will give back to local communities by facilitating peanut- and peanut butter-based consumer activities that will trigger product donations throughout the year.

In the first part of the campaign, the NPB is turning the peanut emoji into real peanuts. Every time the peanut emoji is shared on Twitter, peanut butter donations are made to food banks across the nation.

Consumers are encouraged to tweet using the peanut emoji from now until March 31.

“We believe in the potential the Spreading Good campaign presents because it offers peanut and peanut butter fans the opportunity to pass forward the passion and love they have for their favorite food,” explains Bob Parker, NPB president and CEO. “Today’s consumer likes to support brands and products they believe are doing good.”

Peanut Proud Festival

Come celebrate all things peanut in Blakely, Georgia, at the annual Peanut Proud Festival. The festival will be held at the town square March 28. The day-long celebration begins with a 5K and Fun Run and ends with a street dance. In between these events are the parade, more than 100 vendors to visit, a kids’ peanut butter obstacle course, free entertainment and much more.

Come sample specialty products, such as fried peanuts and grilled PB&J sandwiches, and visit the Peanut Proud store.
For more information, go to peanutproudfestival.com. You can also follow us on Facebook for updated details about the event schedule.

World Record Candy Bars

spreading good

Thursday, Jan.30, 2020, in Hershey, Pa. (Mark Stehle/AP Images for Hershey)

Just before the Super Bowl, the Guinness Book of World Records was on hand at the Mars Wrigley plant in Texas as it unveiled the world’s biggest Snickers bar.

Weighing in at 4,700 pounds, the 2-feet high and 26-inch wide bar was the equivalent of 43,000 single-size Snickers bars put together.

“This is incredibly impressive,” said Guinness World Records adjudicator Michael Empric. “Some of my favorite record categories are big food because it has to be edible and it is also an engineering feat. To get a 5,000-pound bar of chocolate to stay together is really challenging.”

And they have the states’ own reputation to thank for their inspiration.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas,” said Snickers value manager Ruud Engbers. “It’s the largest chocolate nut bar ever made in the world.”

The giant candy bar appeared in their Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 2.

Not to be outdone, two weeks after Mars set its record, Hershey’s topped it with a monster-sized Reese’s Take 5. The five-layered bar—which features peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, peanuts and pretzels—took more than 40 people five days to create. According to Hershey’s, the massive bar was consumed by their employees as part of a Reese’s celebration.
Competing world record peanut candy bars is one delicious way to use up a surplus of peanuts.