Alabama peanut growers approve referendum

appa_colorPeanut producers in Alabama have approved the continuation of a statewide peanut checkoff program with a 100 percent favorable vote for support. Under state law, the check-off program must be voted on every three years. Twenty-five polling sites were located in twenty-one counties where peanuts are produced. The Alabama Peanut Producers Association administers the check-off program.
Alabama is the second largest producer of peanuts in the United States. Georgia ranks as the top peanut growing state. APPA President, Carl Sanders, said the board appreciates the strong showing of support.
“I know the board of directors shares my appreciation,” he said. “The check-off program funds many research and educational activities that would not exist if not for the program. These programs directly impact our industry on an annual basis.”
For more information about Alabama peanuts, visit ALpeanuts.com.
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Besiege insecticide, from Syngenta, now registered for use in peanuts

Syngenta announced recently that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted additional registration approvals for the use of Besiege® insecticide on sorghum, cereal grains and peanuts. Combatting yield-robbing insects is now attainable for more growers as this proven insecticide expands its reach. With dual-action chemistries, Besiege provides protection against key lepidopteran insect pests, including soybean looper, corn earworm, armyworm, sorghum webworm and tobacco budworm, as well as damaging secondary pests like stinkbugs and sorghum midge.

“Besiege is an excellent choice for hard-to-control lepidopteran species like corn earworm,” said John Koenig, insecticide technical product lead at Syngenta. “In addition to difficult worm pests, Besiege will control important non-lepidopteran pests including kudzu bug, grasshopper, bean leaf and Japanese beetle, and soybean aphid.”

In addition to long-lasting insect control, Besiege provides added convenience for growers. Available as a premix formulation, Besiege offers robust rates and performance, while also eliminating the need for a tank mix. An insecticide with multiple benefits, Besiege provides residual coverage that targets destructive insect pests and enables sorghum, cereal grains, peanuts and various other crops to yield strong.

For more information about Besiege insecticide, visit the Besiege product page. Join the conversation – connect with us at social.SyngentaUS.com.

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Ditch the Rule: Stop EPA from Controlling Our Land and Water

On April 21, 2014, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers released their long-awaited proposed rule to expand the Clean Water Act. This proposed rule is an effort by EPA and the Corps to go around the will of Congress and ignore Supreme Court decisions that have limited federal authority.  If this rule is finalized, essentially any area where any water flows at any time – even if just for a brief period – will be subject to federal regulation.

WE NEED EVERYONE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO EPA

Please take a moment to send a message to EPA, letting them know that this rule is unacceptable. Explain the harmful impacts of the rule, and how it would affect you as a landowner.

EPA is accepting comments on this proposed rule now, and the deadline to submit those comments is July 21, 2014. Comment now

Additional Information:
To read more about Georgia Farm Bureau’s stance on this proposed rule, see this article from the Spring 2014 Issue of our Georgia Neighbors magazine.

To read the proposed rule, please click here.

American Farm Bureau has created this Waters Of The U.S. Toolkit, which provides background on the proposed rule and how things reached this point. For further information, visit American Farm Bureau’s Ditch The Rule website.

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USDA Publishes Census of Agriculture State and County Profiles

WHAT_Draft09WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) today released new 2012 Census of Agriculture profiles for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and more than 3,000 counties in the nation. The Census, which is conducted only once every 5 years, is the only time that NASS gathers and makes available agriculture data down to the county level for all U.S. counties.

“The state and county profiles provide snapshots of agriculture by highlighting key data from the recently released 2012 Census of Agriculture,” said NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly. “Census information is heavily relied on at the local level and is an excellent resource for anyone searching for data about farmers and agriculture production in their community.”

A variety of data points are included in the profiles to provide a general picture of agriculture in each state and county. Among the information is:

  • Number of farms, land in farms, average size of farm
  • Market value of products sold, average per farm
  • Crop sales, livestock sales
  • Government payments, average per farm receiving payments
  • Market value of agricultural products sold
  • Value of sales by commodity
  • Top crop and livestock items
  • Economic characteristics
  • Operator characteristics

The state and county profiles are the first in a series of products NASS will publish following the May 2 release of the 2012 Census of Agriculture results. NASS will release new tools throughout the year to highlight the more than 6 million data points captured in the agriculture census.

“NASS is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics and part of that is making data as accessible as possible, including more online resources from the Census of Agriculture than ever before,” said Reilly. “Next up this summer are the 2012 Congressional District Profiles and Rankings, which will provide insight into agriculture of particular interest to advocates and policymakers.”

For access to the 2012 Census of Agriculture State and County Profiles and all the other Census data and tools, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

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May/June 2014 Digital Issue

sepf_mayjune2014_web-1The May/June issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available for digital reading.

This issue features the:
2014 Irrigation Guidebook
Peanut Genome Sequences Released
Check off reports from the state grower organizations
Legislative Update
Southern Peanut Growers Update

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Peanut referendum wins tremendous support from producers

npblogoIn an overwhelming show of confidence in the National Peanut Board, America’s peanut farmers voted in favor of continuing the Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order, which authorizes the National Peanut Board.

In order for the continuance referendum to pass, a majority of eligible producers needed to vote in favor of continuing the Order. The referendum passed with a 92 percent approval rate. Voting in the referendum took place from April 7 through April 18. Growers who paid assessments on peanuts produced during the representative period from January 1 through December 31, 2013, and were current peanut producers were eligible to vote.

The Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 requires a referendum be conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“It is gratifying to know the work of the National Peanut Board is recognized by the growers we serve as essential to their success and contributes to keeping peanuts as America’s most preferred nut,” says John Harrell, chairman of the National Peanut Board.

Harrell also said, “On behalf of the Board, we’re thrilled at this vote of confidence and we pledge to continue working hard for America’s peanut farmers.”

Since its inception in 2001, the National Peanut Board has been pivotal in maintaining receptive markets and increasing consumption of USA-grown peanuts. Some highlights include:

• Everyday frequency of consumption of peanuts has doubled since 2001 and everyday consumption of peanut butter increased 71 percent in the same time period; according to a consumer tracking study by The Bantam Group, 2012.

• NPB recently launched the brand platform, The Perfectly Powerful Peanut, the centerpiece of a new nationwide, multi-media advertising campaign and slogan, helping to unify messages across the entire peanut industry.

• NPB has invested more than $20 million in 900+ production research projects to help farmers increase yields while implementing the most sustainable agricultural practices.

• NPB has funded more than $10  million in food allergy research, education and outreach to help identify causes and seek treatments for food allergy sufferers.

• Peanut menu listings have more than doubled on American menus, increasing 122 percent from January to June 2007 to April-June, 2013, and continuing to outpace almonds; according to data from Technomic Menu Monitor, 2013.

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Peanut industry donates peanuts and peanut butter to tornado victims

2014_05_02_pbdonation_16webPeanut Proud has assisted families in need again after the recent tornadoes that swept through the Southeast. The peanut industry’s humanitarian organization has loaded a total of 59,040 jars of peanut butter recently to send to families affected by the tornado disasters in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

The first donation contained 28,800 jars of peanut butter headed to the food bank in Little Rock, Arkansas. Donations were made by Kroger, American Blanching, as well as Peanut Proud. Peanut Proud president, Gregg Grimsley says he is grateful for the industry’s support.

“I want to thank everyone in the peanut industry for the great support given to this effort and Peanut Proud,” Grimsley says. “It’s very gratifying to see the amount of support from the people who work in the industry.”

The Georgia Peanut Commission also donated approximately 7,500 packs of roasted Georgia peanuts in the first shipment heading to Arkansas. GPC chairman, Armond Morris says GPC was happy to assist in the donation.

“On behalf of the peanut farmers in the state of Georgia, we are glad to take part in the donation to help families affected by the tornado disasters,” Morris says. “Peanuts and peanut butter are a great food source during a situation such as this; refrigeration and cooking are not required and it provides a life-sustaining nutritional benefit.”
The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Alabama Peanut Producers Association assisted Peanut Proud with the second shipment containing 30,240 jars of peanut butter. The peanut butter included donations from Peanut Proud, Kroger and San Filippo.

The Mississippi Peanut Growers Association was also proud to assist with the effort by donating $1,500 to the cause. Malcolm Broome, MPGA executive director, worked with Peanut Proud to coordinate delivery efforts in Pearl, Mississippi.

Teresa Mays, information specialist with APPA, assisted with the delivery efforts to food banks in Birmingham, Huntsville and Northport, Alabama.

Through the National Peanut Board, America’s peanut farmers unanimously voted to donate $10,000 to the industry’s humanitarian arm Peanut Proud to assist with the relief efforts. The donation covers the cost of about 10,000 jars of peanut butter.

“Our hearts go out to the families affected by the tornadoes,” says NPB chairman and Georgia delegate John Harrell. “We’re humbled to make this donation to Peanut Proud on behalf of America’s peanut farmers to help in the relief efforts.”

Peanut butter is ideal for food banks and aid groups because it contains eight grams of protein along with more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients and it doesn’t require refrigeration.

The peanut butter has been delivered to each location through the generous support of Southern Ag Carriers.

Peanut Proud is the humanitarian relief organization of the U.S. peanut industry. Individuals wanting to make a donation to Peanut Proud for humanitarian efforts may do so online at the organization’s website, www.peanutproud.com or send their check made payable to “Peanut Proud” and mail to P.O. Box 446, Blakely, Georgia, 39823.

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Georgia Peanut Commission sponsors Georgia FFA

2014_gaffaconv_15sThe Georgia Peanut Commission and the Peanut Institute teamed up to sponsor the Georgia FFA Star in Agriscience Award during the state convention held in Macon, Ga. The State Star in Agriscience award was presented to Callie Warren of Lowndes County. The state finalists were Quinten Brown of LaGrange FFA Chapter and Haley Thorne of Oglethorpe County FFA Chapter.

The Georgia Peanut Commission also exhibited during the career show and sponsored the Georgia FFA Alumni photo booth during the career show. Each member received a 4×6 print with the Georgia Peanuts logo displayed on the photo.

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Georgia Peanut Commission increases funding for research projects

GPClogo300dpiRGBThe Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors has approved $293,780 in new research project funding for the 2014-15 research budget year. This action was taken during the commission’s March board meeting. The research projects approved include 28 project proposals submitted from the University of Georgia and USDA Agricultural Research Service.

“We are proud of our close relationship and partnership with research institutions in the state,” says Donald Chase, GPC Research Committee chairman. “Peanut growers are pleased to invest in the future by providing monetary support for research and education that has continued to demonstrate a return on our investment. Due to the continuing success enjoyed by Georgia peanut farmers over the past few years, we were able to again increase research funding for 2014.” Georgia’s peanut growers invest $2 per ton annually toward GPC programs which includes research, promotion and education. Research comprises 22 percent of available funds in the commission’s budget.

“We’re very thankful to the Georgia Peanut Commission for the $256,280 in support of our research and extension peanut team,” said Robert Shulstad, associate dean for research at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Everything from breeding to weed control to pest management to marketing and policy is addressed by members of our peanut team to support the peanut industry in the state.”

“Growers have improved cultivars, technologies and better access to information today than ever, allowing them to be more efficient due to research that has been done ten to fifteen years ago,” says Jamison Cruce, GPC director of research & education. “With ever-increasing production and input costs, we must continue our funding trend to ensure the future of the peanut farming in Georgia remains viable and economical.”

At 4,430 pounds per acre, the state average peanut yield in 2013 was the  second highest in history, following on the heels of 2012’s state record of 4,580 per acre. A national study conducted by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service shows peanut yields increased 23 percent from 2008 to 2012. All other major row crops increased 2 to 4 percent.

For additional information and a complete list of the research projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission visit www.gapeanuts.com.

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Florida Ag Literacy Day showcases agriculture

photoFlorida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam helped celebrated Florida Agriculture Literacy Day by reading a new book on Florida farming to second graders from Florida A&M Developmental Research School in the historic Senate Chambers of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee.

Florida Ag Literacy Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach our next generation about the Floridians who provide the food and fiber to meet the needs of the world’s growing population,” Commissioner Putnam says.

Commissioner Putnam read the book as the children followed along with their own copies. The kids talked about their favorite foods and where they came from. Afterwards, the kids sampled Fresh From Florida fruit and vegetables and roasted peanuts.

For the 11th Annual Florida Agriculture Literacy Day, Commissioner Putnam joined more than 2,000 others, including Florida farmers, growers, ranchers, FFA and 4-H students and teachers, extension agents, master gardeners and agriculture industry representatives who read in honor of the event.

This year’s Ag Literacy book, Florida Farms at School, highlights the agricultural programs already in schools, such as Agriculture in the Classroom, 4-H, FFA, Farm to School and others. Volunteers visited more than 3,600 elementary classrooms, reaching more than 72,000 Florida students in 60 counties around the state with the message of the importance of Florida agriculture.

Florida Agriculture Literacy Day has become a very popular program in our industry because it gives farmers and others involved in agriculture a chance to step into the classroom and educate students about the important role agriculture plays in students’ daily lives,” says Ken Barton, chairman of the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom board of directors and executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association.

Florida Ag Literacy Day is sponsored by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers in agriculture curriculum in order to educate students on the importance of agriculture in Florida. The nonprofit is funded by sales of the specialty agricultural license plate known as the Ag Tag.

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