Peanut Revenue Insurance Workshop

6There will be a Peanut Revenue Insurance Workshop following the Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Thurs., Jan. 15, 2015, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Small Auditorium at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. Representatives from the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness and AgriLogic will be on hand to provide key information on the program, new features on quality and replanting, and provide a comparison to the old program. The new peanut crop insurance program became available for the 2015 crop year. The program will enable peanut farmers for the first time to insure against a combination of both yield and price risk through a federally subsidized revenue-based crop insurance program for peanuts. AgriLogic Consulting, LLC in conjunction with the Georgia Peanut Commission and the Western Peanut Growers developed the new policy in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). With the new peanut crop insurance program, growers will have many more insurance options for their crop in 2015 and will be able to better manage risk in growing peanuts.

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Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference set for January 15

fsconflogoProducers can improve the bottom-line of their farming operation with knowledge, connections and information gained at the 39th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Jan. 15, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Peanut farmers and those involved in the peanut industry will be able to learn more about the latest products, services and peanut research at the 2015 Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference. The show is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission in cooperation with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.

DSC03546edit-gmailDuring this year’s show, Kelley Manufacturing Co. is providing the Grand Door Prize Package of one season’s use of a new six-row peanut combine. At the end of the 2015 season the winner has the option of purchasing the combine from a KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price. Also, KMC is providing a second drawing for $1,000 cash.

Additionally, farmers can register to win the Grower Prize, donated by Amadas Industries. This prize is the choice of one season’s use of a new Amadas four-row or six-row peanut inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $5,000 towards the purchase of any new Amadas pull-type combine.

The winners of the Grand Door Prize and the Grower Prize must be certified peanut farmers with an FSA farm number.

The one-day show offers farmers a full day to view the products and services of more than 100 exhibitors and a day of education. A free luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. for all peanut farmers in attendance and an opportunity for farmers to win more than $40,000 in door prizes. The Georgia Peanut Commission will present a short program beginning at 12:15 p.m. that will cover award presentations and other special recognitions.

The University of Georgia will present an educational peanut production seminar from 9:00 until 10:30 a.m. Topics focus on marketing, SDHI chemistries and the changing face of disease and nematode management and insect management.

An Industry Seed Seminar will also be held from 10:35 to 11:35 a.m. during the show. This event is sponsored by the American Peanut Shellers Association Committee on Variety & Seed Development, Peanut Foundation, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and the Georgia Peanut Commission. Growers will be able to learn about farm-saved seed, peanut varieties available for 2015 and varieties on the horizon.

Farmers will also have the opportunity to earn credit towards their private or commercial pesticide applicators certification.

The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, will hold a blood drive from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center during the show.

Following the Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, the Georgia Peanut Commission will host a workshop on the new crop insurance program available for peanut farmers. Representatives with AgriLogic will be available to explain the program and answer any questions from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the small auditorium.

At the close of the day, the presentation of the Grand Door Prize donated by KMC will be presented to one lucky peanut grower. For more information on the show, contact GPC at 229-386-3470 or online at www.gapeanuts.com.

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Peanut Leadership Academy begins Class IX

2014_12_14_plaIXses1pcb_89sTwenty-two peanut growers and sheller representatives from across the Southeast, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia began Class IX of the Peanut Leadership Academy hosted by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, Dec. 15-17, 2014, in Panama City Beach, Florida. During the first session of the program, leadership academy attendees were introduced to one another, presented an overview of the peanut industry and attended the annual Southern Peanut Farmers Federation annual meeting where they had the opportunity to listen to grower and industry reports.

The Peanut Leadership Academy is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association, grower organizations and agricultural extension.  Activities in the leadership program are structured to give participants a thorough understanding of the U.S. peanut industry. The leadership sessions range from field trips, meetings with industry leaders and professional development training. Each class has one leadership session in Washington, D.C. where class members have an opportunity to visit with their congressmen about issues affecting the peanut industry.

The Peanut Leadership Academy Class IX members are: Alabama – Brian Byrd, Ariton; Jeremy Sessions, Grand Bay; Marshall Speake, Eufaula; and Russ Walters, Andalusia; Florida – Levi Findley, Jay; Jeremy Rolling, Westville; and Trey Sanchez, Old Town;  Georgia – Bubba Curry, Shellman; Justin Harrell, Nicholls; Jeffrey Heard, Newton; Zack Thaggard, Leesburg; and Austin Warbington, Pinehurst; Mississippi – B. Jones, Ridgeland; North Carolina – Wade Stanaland, Bladenboro; Texas – Kelton Coleman, Lamesa; and Rusty Strickland, Wellington; Virginia – West Drake, Newsoms; sheller representatives – Colton Farrow, Golden Peanut Co.; Paul Huber, Birdsong Peanuts; and Japheth Saecker, Birdsong Peanuts; National Peanut Board – Dexter Gilbert, Campbellton, Florida; and Meredith Rogers, Camilla, Georgia.

For more information on the Peanut Leadership Academy contact the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association or visit the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation online at www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.

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January/February 2015 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

janfeb2015coverThe January/February 2015 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available for digital reading.

This issue features the:
2015 Peanut Variety Guidebook
Peanut Crop Insurance Program
Drones: Buy or Service
Peanut Leadership Academy begins Class IX
Peanut Profitability Awards seeking nominees
Check off reports from the state grower organizations
Legislative Update
Southern Peanut Growers Update

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Farm bill educational meetings to be held across Georgia

A free series of educational meetings to teach farmers and landowners about the 2014 Farm Bill have been set for December.

Don Shurley and Nathan Smith, University of Georgia agricultural economists based on the UGA Tifton Campus, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency, will conduct the meetings throughout Georgia, beginning on Friday, Dec. 12, in Fort Valley.

“The farm bill has changes that are going to require producers and owners to make decisions over the next two or three months. There are a lot of options and flexibility in terms of this farm bill and decisions for people to make. It’s somewhat complicated and there are a lot of questions out there,” Smith said. “We’re trying to provide these educational programs to help them understand what those decisions are and provide some information that people can use.”

Meetings are also set for Tifton and Bainbridge on Monday, Dec. 15, Dawson and Quitman on Tuesday, Dec. 16, Vidalia and Waynesboro on Wednesday, Dec. 17, Cartersville and Hull on Thursday, Dec. 18, and Alma on Friday, Dec. 19. Registration is required, but there is no cost for participants.

A similar set of meetings was held last spring after the farm bill was initially announced. Those meetings focused on the bill’s contents. According to Shurley, this month’s meetings are aimed at helping producers and landowners make key decisions regarding their respective farming operations.

“We’re going to be talking about what choices the farmer and the landowner have to make, presenting information to help them understand what’s in the farm bill and giving them information to help them understand how to make decisions,” Shurley said.

Topics to be covered include timelines for decision-making and who has to make the decisions; how payment yields can be updated; crop history and how the reallocation of base acres works; the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), the new crop insurance safety net for cotton; and resources and other tools that are available to assist in decision-making.

Who makes the decisions may sound like an easy question to answer, but Shurley explains this isn’t always the case.

“If I’m the farmer, but you own the farm, and I’m renting the farm from you, a lot of these decisions you have to make, but you can’t make them without information from the producer about the crop history and yield history,” Shurley said. “A farmer that may be farming two dozen serial numbers is not unusual. A total farm may be 1,500 acres, but it may be 100 acres here, 121 acres there, 300 acres here. The decisions have to be made on each of those farms independently.”

The times of the meetings vary at each location. Contact the local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 for specific times and registration details. The meetings that begin at 9:30 a.m. will conclude with lunch at noon. Meetings with a 4 p.m. starting time will conclude with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

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Signup for wetlands and agriculture land conservation easements ends Dec. 18

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Terrance O. Rudolph, for Georgia announced a sign-up for this year’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Oct. 3. To be considered for the fiscal year 2015 program, applications must be submitted by December 18, 2014.

ACEP, created through the 2014 Farm Bill, is a program that has two components, known as Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE). ACEP combines NRCS’ former Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) and Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

The ACEP-WRE applications are accepted directly from producers on eligible lands. These easements would restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. Applications will be rated according to the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife.

Applications for the ACEP-ALE are accepted from eligible partners. These eligible entities may submit proposals to NRCS to acquire a conservation easement on eligible agricultural land. NRCS does not accept applications for ACEP-ALE directly from producers. Producers will need to work with an eligible entity to pursue funding for an ACEP-ALE conservation easement. Some examples of eligible entities include county Board of Commissioners, Land Trusts and Land Conservancies.

Applications must be submitted to Georgia NRCS by December 18, 2014 for both ACEP-ALE and ACEP-WRE. Applications are available at your local USDA Service Center and at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted. You can learn more about ACEP and other Farm Bill programs in Georgia at http://www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov.

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Alabama Farmers Federation elects board of directors

The Alabama Farmers Federation elected members to its board of directors Dec. 8. Front row, from left, are District 9 Director Garry Henry; State Women's Committee Chairman Cheryl Lassiter; State Young Farmers Committee Chairman Garrett Henry; District 3 Director Phillip Thompson; and District 6 Director Dell Hill. Back row, from left, are Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell; Southeast Area Vice President George Jeffcoat; District 12 Director Fred Helms; and North Area Vice President Rex Vaughn.

The Alabama Farmers Federation elected members to its board of directors Dec. 8. Front row, from left, are District 9 Director Garry Henry; State Women’s Committee Chairman Cheryl Lassiter; State Young Farmers Committee Chairman Garrett Henry; District 3 Director Phillip Thompson; and District 6 Director Dell Hill. Back row, from left, are Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell; Southeast Area Vice President George Jeffcoat; District 12 Director Fred Helms; and North Area Vice President Rex Vaughn.

Jimmy Parnell of Stanton in Chilton County was re-elected president of the state’s largest farm organization during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 93rd annual meeting in Montgomery today. Elections were held this afternoon during the Federation’s business session, where 500 delegates from Alabama’s 67 counties cast their votes.

Parnell, a fifth-generation farmer who raises timber and beef cattle, was unopposed in his bid for re-election to a second two-year term. He said he enjoyed his first term as president and looks forward to representing Alabama farm families in the future as the Federation works to strengthen agriculture’s position as the state’s largest industry.

“I am honored by the faith and trust that farm families across this state have placed in me,” Parnell said following his election. “Our state is blessed with a rich agricultural history that helped shape the very foundation of our society. But what’s exciting about agriculture in Alabama is the potential it provides for our future. We are blessed with abundant natural resources and the hardest-working people I know. I’m excited to see what’s in store for our state and this organization.”

Southeast Area Vice President George Jeffcoat of Gordon in Houston County and North Area Vice President Rex Vaughan of Huntsville in Madison County also were re-elected for two-year terms at today’s meeting.

Elections also were held for four district board positions, which have three-year terms. Those elected include Phillip Thompson of Scottsboro in Jackson County (District 3), Dell Hill of Alpine in Talladega County (District 6), Garry Henry of the Hope Hull Community in Montgomery County (District 9) and Fred Helms of Dothan in Houston County (District 12).

Elected to one-year, ex-officio terms on the state board were Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Cheryl Lassiter of Silas in Choctaw County and State Young Farmers Chairman Garrett Henry of Hope Hull in Montgomery County.

The Alabama Farmers Federation, with 358,000 members, is Alabama’s largest farm organization and a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Nominations open for Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award

gpcbasflogoNominations are now open for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. The state winner will be announced at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Tifton, Ga. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and BASF.

“BASF is honored to be a sponsor of the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut  Farmer Award,” says Dan Watts, District manager of Crop Protection Products. “We are committed to agriculture and bringing new innovative solutions to producers  that will allow them to continue to be successful.”

The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award is based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership, civic, church, and community service activities.

“We have so many young peanut farmers making a difference in their communities and I consider this awards program a great opportunity to recognize one young peanut farmer for their contributions to the agriculture industry,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC).

The award is open for any active Georgia peanut farmer who is not over 45 years of age, as of January 15, 2015. An individual may receive the award only once. There is no limit on the number of applicants from each county in Georgia.

Applications are due to the GPC office by Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. The award application is available online at the GPC Web site, www.gapeanuts.com, or by contacting Joy Crosby at 229-386-3690 or joycrosby@gapeanuts.com.

Previous winners include Randy Branch of Baxley, Ga.; James Hitchcock Jr. of Tennille, Ga., Brad Thompson of Donalsonville, Ga.; Greg Mims of Donalsonville, Ga.; Jim Waters of Blackshear, Ga. and Jimmy Webb of Leary, Ga. The award winner receives registration and hotel accommodations to attend the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July and a sign to display at his or her farm.

Download application (pdf) (Microsoft Word)

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UGA Exension plant pathologist cautions peanut farmers about tomato spotted wilt virus

TSWV

This picture shows tomato spotted wilt virus damage in peanuts in 2011. Image credit: Tim Brenneman/UGA.

A University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist is urging Georgia peanut farmers to plant a month earlier next year to keep the threat of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) at bay. In 1997, TSWV caused widespread damage to Georgia’s peanut crops. Peanut yields suffered, and the value of the state’s crop was reduced by more than 10 percent. The virus’ impact continues to be felt in 2014, according to UGA researcher Bob Kemerait, who’s based on the UGA Tifton Campus.

He worries that growers have become “complacent” in the fight against the disease.

“The fact that we’re seeing an increase in spotted wilt does not suggest to me in any way we’re going to go back to that period of time (in the late 1990s). What it does do is point out two factors: the first thing is that the disease, which has been quiet for a number of years, has not gone away. It’s still there. Second, and more importantly, as growers plant more resistant varieties, they’ve become complacent in the production practices important to minimizing the risk, and they could get bit by this in the future,” Kemerait said.

TSWV dates back almost 40 years, when it was discovered in peanuts in Texas. It was later found in Louisiana and Alabama. In the 1990s, the virus was detected as a major problem in Georgia-grown peanuts, vegetables and tobacco.

Through resistant cultivars developed at UGA by peanut breeder Bill Branch, the virus’ impact on peanuts was minimal over the next decade. For the last couple of years, though, TSWV appears to have been more severe in peanut fields, and Kemerait is unsure why.

“In the past couple of years, we’ve seen an increase, certainly not to the level it was in 1995 or 1997, but I’m seeing more and getting more reports from growers of tomato spotted wilt virus. We’re not exactly sure why,” Kemerait said. “It’s something we’re aware of. It’s something we’re cautious about.”

Managing TSWV is not as simple as controlling thrips, the tiny insects that transmit the disease. “Managing the thrips through the use of insecticides is not going to reduce severity of tomato spotted wilt,” Kemerait said.

To reduce the virus’ impact, UGA Extension recommends peanut farmers plant in May next year rather than in mid-April, as earlier planted peanuts are more likely to be infested by thrips. Also, planting peanuts at greater plant densities reduces the incidence of the virus, so increased seeding rates are encouraged.

“As an Extension specialist with the University of Georgia, my message and the message of the county agents is: Don’t forget that spotted wilt is out there. Don’t forget that it can affect your crop, and make sure you continue to take steps to reduce the risk,” Kemerait said.

For more information about TSWV in peanuts, see tomatospottedwiltinfo.org.

By Clint Thompson
University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

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Federal agency seeks public comments on Conservation Stewardship Program interim rule

USDA LogoATHENS, GA, November 12, 2014 ­– USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia is seeking public comments on changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) interim final rule. USDA recently announced the publishing of the interim final rule, which contains the statutory changes to CSP in the Federal Register, on Nov. 5. The rule will be open for public comments through Jan. 5, 2015. Interested individuals can submit public comments on the interim final rule on regulations.com. Public comments will be used to finalize the interim final rule before it is published.

The interim final rule is used to implement CSP. This program helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance—the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

Congress changed CSP in the 2014 Farm Bill and NRCS, the agency that administers CSP, incorporated those changes into this interim rule. These changes are designed to improve the competitive nature of the program, including raising the bar for the quality of projects enrolled and increasing the number of priority resource concerns to be addressed during the term of the CSP contract.

The interim final rule also expands the CSP’s reach to include veteran farmers and ranchers under special funding pools for beginning and socially disadvantaged producers, updates requirements for contract renewal, uses science-based stewardship thresholds to determine program eligibility and success, and expands program enrollmentto include lands protected under the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program and that are in the last year of the Conservation Reserve Program.

The rule also establishes CSP as one of the programs to help the Regional Conservation Partnership Program accomplish its purposes.

NRCS has also increased flexibility for producers to make minor adjustments to their agricultural operations that will result in the same or better stewardship of the land, and removed extraneous provisions that did not relate to program participant’s rights and responsibilities.

For more information about CSP or other programs in Georgia, visit http://www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov and click on the programs tab.

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