USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

2013_06_27_rdawsonlp_28sExpansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Begins Sept. 21

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2020 – President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.

“America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump is once again demonstrating his commitment to ensure America’s farmers and ranchers remain in business to produce the food, fuel, and fiber America needs to thrive,” said Secretary Perdue. “We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted.”

Background:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers.

Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs.

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities

Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 1) the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 2) the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used.

For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75 percent of the producers’ 2019 production.

Dairy (cow’s milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. The milk production for Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, will be estimated by FSA.

Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between Apr. 16, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020.

Flat-rate Crops

Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales Commodities

Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Eligibility

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.

Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning Sept. 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11, 2020.

Additional information and application forms can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap/apply. For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated.

Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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July/August 2020 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The July/August 2020 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

julyaug2020_coverThis issue features:

  • Working through a Pandemic
  • Thrive with Peanuts
  • Harvest Guidebook
  • USDA NASS releases Planting Acreage Report
  • Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day set for July 23
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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UGA, Georgia Department of Agriculture offer critical training for pest control application online

sprayingincornfieldThe University of Georgia and Georgia Department of Agriculture dicamba training program, Using Pesticides Wisely 2020, will move to online delivery of the remaining sessions.

Using Pesticides Wisely (UPW) is a state program aimed at teaching farmers and other pesticide applicators how to properly apply pesticides to limit pesticide drift in Georgia. Only farmers and other pesticide applicators who were not trained in 2019 need to complete the 2020 training, according to a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Growers should choose one of the four webinar sessions and register for the date and time that works best for their schedule.

Please note that each online session has its own registration link, so it is important to use the link that matches your preferred time. Required registration information includes address, phone number, email and pesticide license number for each registrant. A license is not required for 2,4D application, so those registrants can enter N/A in that field.

Meeting links will be emailed to registrants prior to the 1.5-hour sessions. Participants will be able to submit questions using a chat box or over the phone. Attendees’ names will be placed on a list posted to the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s auxin website at www.agr.georgia.gov/24c.aspx. Please allow up to 21 days after the training date for names to be posted. This list will serve as the official training record and attendance verification.

Session dates, times and registration links are:

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Joe West named interim dean of UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

West2

Joe West has been named interim dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, effective July 1. West is a professor in UGA’s Department of Animal and Dairy Science, and his career with CAES has spanned nearly 35 years.

Joe West, who most recently served as assistant dean of the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, has been named interim dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, effective July 1.

West is a professor in the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science, and his career with CAES has spanned nearly 35 years. In his 12 years as assistant dean, he oversaw enhancements to the learning environment for students, as well as growth in research activity and Extension programming on the Tifton Campus. From 2002 to 2004, he served as interim head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science.

As previously announced, Samuel Pardue, who has led the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences since 2016, intends to step down on June 30. A national search is currently underway for the next dean and director of the college.

“I am grateful to Dr. West for taking on this important role,” said S. Jack Hu, UGA’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “His demonstrated record of leadership will serve the college and the university well during this transition period.”

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April 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The April 2020 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

april2020_coverwebThis issue features:

  • Seed Treatment Game Changer
  • 2020 Disease & Insect Guidebook
  • Georgia Peanut Commission Increases Research Funding
  • Florida Peanut Producers Association holds 45th Annual Meeting
  • Farm Recovery Program Block Grant Application Extended to April 30
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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Georgia Peanut Commission publishes, “A Home Run for Peanuts” book

homerunforpeanutsbookcvr300x300Just in time for National Ag Day, the Georgia Peanut Commission is proud to announce the release of a newly published children’s book, “A Home Run for Peanuts.” Written by South Dakota author Amanda Radke and illustrated by Minnesota artist Michelle Weber, “A Home Run for Peanuts” takes young readers on fun adventures from a peanut farm to the baseball park.

“The Georgia Peanut Commission created this book for children to help them understand the process of growing and harvesting peanuts,” says Hannah Jones, Georgia Peanut Commission research and education project coordinator. “The information is told by a fun and colorful narrator, straight from the viewpoint of the farm.”

Readers will meet the story’s main character — a farm kid, Jake, and his dog, Max — as they explore his family’s peanut farm through the seasons. Along the way, Jake is studying at school and practicing with his baseball team, and he fuels his busy days with protein-rich peanut butter, of course.

“Through this vibrant and memorable story, we hope students learn about life on the farm, as well as peanut farming,” Jones says. “We want readers to know peanuts are not only delicious, but they are good for you, too! We hope to convey that message through this story and inspire families to incorporate peanuts into their daily menus.”

Throughout the book, Jake enjoys a wide array of peanut meals, from classic peanut butter sandwiches, to peanut butter protein balls, to peanut butter cookies and more. Jake is able to ace his tests and hit home runs, thanks to his nutrient-dense on-the-go peanut snacks. The book even features a kid-friendly, parent-approved recipe for, Game Day Peanut Butter Protein Bites.

“A Home Run for Peanuts” was written for second through fourth graders and includes a lesson plan and vocabulary list, perfect for teachers to incorporate into the classroom.

“We are excited to share this story with young readers and show them how farm families are just regular people who take pride in their way of life as they produce a home run crop to feed the world,” Jones says.

Copies of “A Home Run for Peanuts” are available at www.gapeanuts.com, on Amazon or in the Georgia Peanut Commission Gift Shop.

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March 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The March 2020 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

march2020coverThis issue features:

  • Farm Recovery Program Block Grants Available for Georgia Farmers
  • Spreading Good Campaign Aims to Spread Goodwill
  • 2020 Weed Guidebook
  • Georgia Peanut Commission publishes, “A Home Run for Peanuts” book
  • Special Review of the Georgia Peanut Farm Show
  • Mississippi Peanut Growers Association holds annual meeting Jan. 28-29, 2020
  • Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show held in February
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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Georgia Peanut Commisison Research Report Day set for Feb. 5 in Tifton

2018_gpcresearchreportday_01The Georgia Peanut Commission will hold the annual Research Report Day, Feb. 5, 2020, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL), located on the University of Georgia Tifton campus at 2360 Rainwater Road, Tifton, Georgia 31793. The event provides growers and industry representatives an opportunity to hear the latest reports and newest information available on peanut research projects funded by GPC in 2019.

“The commission works to wisely invest peanut farmers’ dollars into research projects across Georgia in an effort to reduce production 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.”

GPC awarded $653,901 to peanut research facilities in the state during 2019. This effort funds 35 research projects from the University of Georgia, the USDA Agricultural Research Service and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The research programs primarily focus on peanut breeding, conservation methods, irrigation and water management as well as pest, weed and disease management.

The agenda for the GPC Research Report Day is available online at www.gapeanuts.com. All research reports will be available online following the GPC Research Report Day.

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Georgia Peanut Farm Show provides a day of education for farmers

fsconflogoMore than 1,600 attendees were able to fine-tune their farming operations with information gained at the 44th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference on Jan. 16, 2020, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission.

The one-day show offered farmers a chance to view the products and services of 113 exhibitors, as well as a day of education. The University of Georgia Peanut Team presented an educational peanut production seminar focusing on common mistakes with fertility, weed, insect and disease management that reduce a farmer’s profitability. An industry seed seminar was held, which highlighted peanut varieties available for 2020.

The Georgia Peanut Commission installed the sixth recipient into the Georgia Peanut Hall of Fame by inducting U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. A portrait of Sen. Isakson, unveiled at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show, will be displayed at the GPC headquarters in Tifton, Ga. Senator Isakson holds the distinction of being the only Georgian ever to have been elected to the state House, state Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. In addition, in 2016 he became the first Georgia Republican ever to be elected to a third term in the U.S. Senate. He officially retired from the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31, 2019.

2020 Georgia Peanut Farm Show Award Winners

2020 Georgia Peanut Farm Show Award Winners

The Georgia Peanut Commission presented awards to individuals and businesses for their service to the peanut industry and promotion of peanuts across the United States. The award recipients were: Distinguished Service Award – Dr. Joe West, assistant dean for the University of Georgia Tifton Campus; Research and Education Award – National Peanut Research Laboratory; Media Award – posthumously to John Leidner, freelance writer for the Southeastern Peanut Farmer, and David Maxwell, managing editor of the Donalsonville News; and two Georgia Peanut Special Awards to Southern Ag Carriers and to Peanut Butter & Jesus in Tifton, Georgia.

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF, was presented to Jonathan Hitchcock of Tennille, Georgia. The award is presented to one Georgia peanut farmer based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership and community service activities. Hitchcock’s farming operation includes 4,200 acres of peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans, oats, sorghum, hay and a cow/calf beef operation. Hitchcock strives to utilize innovative stewardship practices on the farm to reduce his carbon footprint and water usage. He is also active within a number of community and agriculture organizations within his county and across the state of Georgia.

In addition to the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award, the Georgia Peanut Commission and Agri Supply presented the Outstanding Georgia Peanut Farmers of the Year Award to individuals representing each of the commission’s five districts. The GPC board members started this award to honor farmers who have the passion, diligence, leadership and desire to see the peanut industry in the state of Georgia continue to be the highest quality. Winners include: District 1 posthumously – Jud Greene, Brinson; District 2 – Charles Paulk, Ocilla; District 3 – Wade McElveen, Brooklet; District 4 – Ronney Ledford Sr., Vienna; and District 5 – Mike McLendon, Oglethorpe. These farmers received a sign to display at their farm and gift cards from Agri Supply and the Georgia Peanut Commission.

At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize donated by Kelley Manufacturing Co. was presented to Waylon Hitchcock of Tennille, Georgia. Hitchcock received one season’s use of a new KMC peanut combine and the option of purchasing the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price at the end of the 2020 season.

Amadas Industries also provided the Grower Door Prize to Gregg McClellan of Alapaha, Georgia, and Wayne Nash of Ray City, Georgia. McClellan received a certificate for $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas self-propelled peanut combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas pull-type peanut combine or $2,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas peanut digger or $1,000 towards the purchase of a new Amadas peanut dump cart. Nash received a customized Grizzly cooler and a $1,000 certificate for Amadas parts.

For photos and additional information on the Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, visit the Georgia Peanut Commission website at www.gapeanuts.com.

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January/February 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The January/February 2020 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online. Click here!

janfeb2020_coverThis issue features:

  • Culinary experts attend Farm-to-Table Peanut Harvest Tour in Alabama
  • 2020 Peanut Variety Guidebook
  • Florunner – An industry favorite destroyed by TSWV
  • From Cotton to Peanuts – A Breeding Education
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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