East Alabama farmers eligible for new irrigation efficiency project

Farmers in 10 east Alabama counties may be eligible for funding to improve irrigation efficiency through a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The program is available in parts of Barbour, Bullock, Chambers, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee Macon, Randolph and Russell counties. Eligible farmers may apply and use funds for irrigation practices including retrofits for nozzles on irrigation systems.

The project covers 13 million acres in eastern Alabama, western Georgia and the Florida panhandle. It’s focused on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint rivers (ACFR) basin. Applications will be accepted June 8-19. For more information, visit a local USDA Service Center.

This RCPP is a collaboration between the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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U.S. Rep. Roby talks with peanut growers

Roby-for-websiteU.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, recently spoke to a group of peanut growers from the Wiregrass area and reiterated her dedication to agriculture and protecting the farmers’ interests in Washington. Pictured is Carl Sanders (center), president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, as he and Mitt Walker (left) , director, National Legislative Programs for the Alabama Farmers Federation, talk with Roby about the future of agriculture and their concern over the growing number of regulations that affect the more than 1,000 peanut growers in Alabama.
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Florida Peanut Producers Association Scholarship Awards Program

PrintThe Florida Peanut Producers Association is pleased to announce the opening of the 2015 Scholarship Awards Program, effective April 1, 2015.

Two $1,200 scholarships will be awarded to deserving high school seniors and/or college students. The applicant or someone in the applicant’s family must be actively producing peanuts in Florida. It is the intent of the Scholarship Award Committee, however, that the award recipients attend a Florida junior college or university.

Download application and instructions here.

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Southern Peanut Farmers Federation submits comments on “actively engaged” in farming proposed rule

SPFF _logocolor2RGBThis past 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 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.

View the comments submitted by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

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May/June 2015 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The May/June 2015 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

mayjune2015_cvrwebThis issue features the:

  • 2015 Irrigation Guidebook
  • Southern Peanut Growers Conference Schedule
  • Georgia Peanut Commission increases research funding
  • Peanut pop-up in the Big Apple
  • Innovative project underway at Federal State Shipping Point Inspection Service
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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Peanut farmers approve the Georgia Peanut Commission by 92 percent

GPClogo300dpiRGBGeorgia peanut farmers reaffirmed the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) by a vote of 92.41 percent during the recent referendum, held March 16 through April 15.

“I appreciate the farmer’s confidence in the commission and we are committed to continue earning that confidence,” says Armond Morris, peanut farmer from Ocilla, Ga., and GPC chairman. “The commission continues to work together as a partnership between Georgia’s peanut farmers, the commission board and staff, in funding research projects to assist with increasing yield, promoting peanuts and working on the farmers’ behalf in Washington, D.C.”

As required by Georgia state law, the state’s peanut farmers vote on the commission every three years. The ballots were mailed to peanut growers the week of March 16 and the Certified Public Accounting firm of Allen, Pritchett and Bassett counted the ballots returned on April 28.

“Our staff is humbled by the overwhelming support of our growers,” says Don Koehler, GPC’s executive director. “We will continue to seek opportunities through programs in research, education and promotion to enhance profit opportunities on the farm.”

Georgia peanut farmers invest $2 per ton each year to the commission that is used in the program areas of research, education, promotion and communication. For additional information on the Georgia Peanut Commission visit their website at gapeanuts.com.

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April 2015 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The April 2015 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

april2015cvr_webThis issue features the:

  • 2015 Disease Guidebook
  • 2015 Insect Guidebook
  • Sod-based rotation for peanuts
  • Florida Peanut Producers Association review of 40th annual meeting
  • Martin family named national winners in Outstanding Young Farmers Program
  • Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for         July 23-25 at Callaway Gardens
  • Peanut Leadership Academy meets for session II in Georgia
  • June deadline to add a legal entity
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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USDA Extends ARC and PLC Deadlines

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today provided farm owners and producers one additional week, until April 7, 2015, to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres also will be April 7, 2015.

“This is an important decision for producers because these programs help farmers and ranchers protect their operations from unexpected changes in the marketplace,” said Vilsack. “Nearly 98 percent of owners have already updated their yield and base acres, and 90 percent of producers have enrolled in ARC or PLC. These numbers are strong, and continue to rise. This additional week will give producers a little more time to have those final conversations, review their data, visit their local Farm Service Agency offices, and make their decisions,” said Vilsack.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by the deadline, the farm’s current yield and base acres will be used. If a program choice of ARC or PLC is not made, there will be no 2014 crop year payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage for the 2015 through 2018 crop years. Producers who have an appointment at their local FSA offices scheduled by April 7 will be able to make an election between ARC and PLC, even if their actual appointment is after April 7.

These safety-net programs provide important financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. As part of the strong education and outreach campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in September, to date more than 5 million educational postcards, in English and Spanish, have been sent to producers nationwide, and more than 5,000 events with more than 430,000 attendees, including training sessions and speaking engagements, have been conducted to educate producers on the programs. The online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, which allow producers to explore how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation, have been presented to more than 3,400 groups.

Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

Producers need to contact the Farm Service Agency by April 7. To learn more, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office. To find local offices, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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Secretary Vilsack Appoints Peanut Standards Board Members

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed three producers and four industry representatives to serve on the Peanut Standards Board. Six members will serve on the board through June 30, 2017. A seventh member will fill a current vacancy through June, 2015.

The Peanut Standards Board is made up of 18 members representing the Southeast Region, which covers Alabama, Georgia and Florida; the Southwest Region, covering Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; and the Virginia-North Carolina Region. One-third of the board is appointed each year.

Selected were producer Martin L. McLendon of Leary, Ga. and industry representative Elizabeth Kaye Smith of Cumming, Ga. to represent the Southeast Region and producer Marshall Wayne Baker of Portales, N.M. and industry representative Byron Charles Warnken of Pleasanton, Texas to represent the Southwest Region. Producer James Wilson Mason of Harrellsville, N.C. and industry representative Kathryn Olivia Swinson of Mount Olive, N.C. will represent the Virginia-North Carolina Region. James Carlton Gray, Jr. of Courtland, Va. was selected to fill an industry representative vacancy for the Virginia-North Carolina Region, and that appointment ends June 30, 2015.

The Peanut Standards Board is authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. USDA consults with the board to establish or change quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. USDA is scheduling and will soon announce the date of the full board’s next meeting.

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March 2015 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The March 2015 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available for digital reading.

march2015coverThis issue features the:
2015 Weed Guidebook
Feral Pig Control
Seed inoculation is low-cost insurance
Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for July 23-25 at Callaway Gardens
Bristow joins staff as APPA executive director
AL/FL Peanut Trade Show attracts record crowd
Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference provides a day of education
Check off reports from the state grower organizations
Legislative Update
Southern Peanut Growers Update

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