SPFF Comments On ‘Actively Engaged’

In March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued their proposed rule to define what it means to be “actively engaged” in farming and, therefore, eligible to receive federal farm payments. After review by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation (SPFF) members, there are important issues that concern Southern agriculture including, but not limited to, the limits on the number of farm managers.

The SPFF joined other agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, National Cotton Council, USA Rice Federation and the Western Peanut Growers Association, in comments to USDA on the proposed “actively engaged” definition.

The SPFF is comprised of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, the Florida Peanut Producers Association, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Georgia Peanut Commission. The comment period ended in May. To view the comments submitted by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation go to www.americanpeanuts.com.

ConAgra Settles In Tainted PB Case

ConAgra Foods has agreed to pay $11.2 million in criminal fines and forfeitures to settle a charge that the company shipped salmonella-tainted peanut butter from its Georgia plant more than eight years ago.

Documents outlining a plea deal with federal prosecutors were filed in U.S. District Court in Georgia. ConAgra agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of shipping adulterated food, a misdemeanor, and pay $8 million in fines plus $3.2 million in forfeitures. ConAgra was charged as a company. No executives were charged.

In 2007, a salmonella outbreak linked to the company’s Sylvester, Ga., plant that produces Peter Pan peanut butter was blamed for sickening at least 625 people in 47 states. The Nebraska-based company recalled all peanut butter.

The company signed a plea agreement admitting that it introduced Peter Pan and private label peanut butter contaminated with salmonella into interstate commerce during the 2006 through 2007 outbreak. The criminal fine is the largest ever paid in a food safety case. The proposed plea agreement and recommended sentence is not final until accepted by the U.S. District Court.

NPB Research Agreement Reached

The National Peanut Board has reached an agreement with its research institution partners on language for its Research Institution Agreement (RIA). The full board approved the following language:

3.5 (e) Cooperator will administer licensing Revenue received for Subject Inventions in accordance with its institution’s intellectual property policy, including a portion returned to further Cooperator’s peanut research program.

3.5 (f ) Subject Inventions will be licensed (domestically and/or internationally) in a manner designed to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. peanut producers. When considering potential international licensing for specific peanut cultivars, cooperator will do so in accordance with its institution’s policies and in consultation with breeders, institutional varietal release committee, agricultural experiment station administration, institutional Office of Technology Transfer, CPPO and NPB.

The National Peanut Board maintains its opposition to the international licensing of seed varieties developed with funds from American peanut growers.

NPB Chairman and Texas grower Bob White said, “We appreciate our research partners agreeing to consult with us and our state associations before entering into international licensing agreements on seed. I believe we all share a common goal of doing what is in the best interests of our peanut growers.”

The new language will be incorporated effective Jan. 1, 2016. The National Peanut Board has funded over $20 million in production research since its inception. Survey

Answers Of Top Producers

As part of the Peanut Yield Champion program, North Carolina producers answered survey of production practices as follows: 87 percent planted in single rows; 78 percent used 36-inch row spacing; 20 percent used irrigation; 38 percent fumigated for Cynlindrocladium Black Rot, 75 percent disked their fields; 47 percent cultivated their fields; 43 percent bedded; 34 percent ripped and bedded; 27 percent used strip tillage; 100 percent had at least two crops between peanut plantings; 41 percent had three years; and 49 percent had a four year rotation.

In Brief:
• SPFF speaks up for farm managers in comments to USDA on “actively engaged” rule.
• ConAgra to pay largest food safety fine ever.
• Top-yielding North Carolina producers have at least two crops between peanuts plantings and almost half have four-year rotations.
• Producers are reminded of peanut planting reporting deadlines.
• Casino night at Southern Peanut Growers Conference will benefit Peanut Proud.
• Could peanut milk rival sales of almond milk?
• Planters’s new campaign declares, “NUT-rition Starts With Nut.”

Casino Night To Benefit Peanut Proud

The 17th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference is July 23-25, 2015, at Callaway Gardens near Pine Mountain, Ga. This year’s conference offers farmers an opportunity to learn more about legislative issues, market growth and production issues.

Session 1 on Friday, July 24 will feature a panel of peanut researchers discussing, “The Future is NOW!” Keynote speaker at the Friday luncheon will be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Krysta Harden, formerly of Georgia. The afternoon session will be led by Dr. Martie Gillen of the University of Florida on “Keeping the Farm for Future Generations.” Session III on Saturday will include speakers U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida, Bob Redding of the Redding Firm, Stephanie Grunenfelder of the American Peanut Council and Don Koehler of the Georgia Peanut Commission. The Convention concludes on Saturday night with a show by the Bushman Band. Conference registration can be found online at www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.

During the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, a Casino Night will be held the opening evening from 7 to 10 p.m. to help raise money for Peanut Proud. Conference attendees will be given a certain number of chips to get started and can then purchase more with proceeds going to Peanut Proud. For hotel reservations, visit www.callawaygardens.com/ASPGC2015.

Market Potential For Peanut Milk

Almond milk is growing at double digit consumption rates. Even cashew milk is gaining momentum and now, is peanut milk in our future? No commercial product is out yet, but Bob Parker of the National Peanut Board said the concept has been developed.

Peanut milk delivers eight grams of plant-based protein per serving, comparable to dairy milk, all-natural ingredients with 30 essential vitamins and nutrients and is fortified with calcium. Parker says peanut milk has a smooth, slightly creamy mouth feel and taste similar to cow’s milk. The flavor is neutral with no peanut taste.

While peanut milk may have market potential, a timeline for production is proprietary.

2015 FSA Crop Reporting Deadline

The annual, timely and accurate reporting of acres for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage, can prevent loss of benefits for a variety of Farm Service Agency programs. Producers are reminded to file their 2015 acreage reports by July 15, 2015, in most peanutproducing counties. However, deadlines are county-by-county, so check with your FSA office.

Prevented planting needs be reported no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date. For failed acreage, reports must be filed before disposition of the crop, and producers must be able to establish to the satisfaction of the county committee that the crop failed and was prevented from being replanted through the normal planting period because of natural disaster conditions.

Planters Announces New Campaign

Planters’ NUT-rition line is getting updated packaging and its first brand-specific national campaign since 2012. The line includes 12 mixes blended to support a different nutritional or wellness benefit, such as heart health, energy or digestion.

The campaign is themed “Nutrition Starts With Nut,” and includes two television ads. New packaging includes an area where each mix’s specific nutritional benefits and ingredients are showcased.

While NUT-rition’s sales have “flattened,” it was one of Planters’ fastest growing lines and continues to have promising growth potential. Nuts and trail mixes have been the fastest-growing segment within snacks, showing 53 percent growth between 2008 and 2013 and is projected to grow at a 60 percent pace over the next four years.

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