Peanut Allergy Treatment Provides Parents Hope

    Henry County parents, Caleb and Freda Bristow were heartbroken, yet determined after finding out their youngest son Sam, suffered from a peanut allergy. For some parents this information may seem frustrating and inconvenient but for the Bristow family it was very problematic.

    Caleb Bristow grew up on a peanut farm, manages a peanut buying point and also sells peanut trailers. Peanuts are an essential part of his everyday life. “I even had people joke- with me growing up in the peanut industry- and say oh wouldn’t it be funny if your kid has a peanut allergy,” said Caleb.

    About a year ago, when Sam was around six months old, Caleb and Freda started introducing Sam to peanut products. He had a few minor reactions to it, but Caleb wasn’t convinced his child could be allergic to peanuts. Having already been diagnosed with some food allergies, and after a trip to a pediatric allergist, the Bristow’s worst nightmare was confirmed. Sam was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at around nine months old. “I literally work for peanuts and now I have a kid who is allergic to peanuts,” says Caleb.

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    Fortunately for the Bristow family, they knew that just living with the allergy wasn’t the only option like their allergist had suggested. Caleb, having also been the former executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, had previously had the opportunity to meet with a doctor in Birmingham who was working on a groundbreaking treatment that essentially eliminates the peanut allergy from a person’s body.

    Dr. Joseph LaRussa, M.D. is a Board-Certified Allergy and Immunology Specialist in Birmingham. With 22 years of pediatric allergy experience and having a child with peanut and tree nut allergies, Dr. LaRussa knows what it is like to be a parent of a food allergy child. He has discovered that children with a peanut allergy can actually be desensitized to the allergy through oral immunotherapy.

    In January of 2015 a group of researchers from both London and the U.S. released a groundbreaking study which is now known as the Learning Early about Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study. The results of the study found that the introduction of peanuts into an infant’s diet, prior to 11-months old, reduced the prevalence of peanut allergy by approximately 70-80 percent (peanutallergyfacts.org). This study motivated Dr. LaRussa to conduct further research on how to help patients with peanut allergy.

    During the Bristow’s first appointment the doctor said something that Freda says she’ll never forget. Dr. LaRussa said “we want to dictate food allergies, not food allergies dictate the way we live.” “I almost cried… that was just like a sigh of relief. We can help him (Sam) with this, so he doesn’t have to live in fear,” says mother, Freda.

    Sam is far enough along in his treatments that the Bristow family no longer has to worry about having peanut products in the house. “After 16 weeks we have finally worked our way up to half a teaspoon of peanut butter,” says Caleb. By springtime, Sam should be able to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    While this immunotherapy is not FDA approved, it has proven to be a safe and viable option for infants and children trying to overcome peanut allergies. For more information on how to safely introduce peanuts to your infant to help prevent peanut allergy, visit https://preventpeanutallergies.org/.

    Alabama peanut farmers care deeply about their product and the consumers who are affected by it. Since 2001, through the National Peanut Board, peanut farmers across the nation have earmarked more than $32 million of their own dollars into research and education about food and peanut allergies.

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April 2021 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The April 2021 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

sepf_april2021_coverThis issue features:

  • Peanuts: McGill’s Mission Field
  • In-furrow Fertilizers – Do they impact seed emergence?
  • New Type of Seed Coating for Peanuts
  • 2021 Disease & Insect Guidebook
  • Florida Timber and Irrigation Recovery 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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Senator Warnock & Congressman Bishop Tours Southwest Georgia

2021_bishopwarnockagtour-0824Senator Warnock and Congressman Bishop visited agricultural producers throughout Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District. During this tour, they met with local farmers and various industry leaders to discuss the importance of Georgia’s agricultural footprint, as well as the importance of the federal government in supporting Georgia’s agriculture industry.

Congressman Bishop serves as the chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee and he serves on the House Agriculture Committee. Senator Warnock joined the U.S. Senate Ag Committee and is chairman of the Senate Ag subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade.

During Senator Warnock’s first congressional tour since being elected, he heard the individual needs of the different commodity groups at each stop. The stops included:

  • Fort Valley State University
  • Minor Brothers Farm (fruits & vegetables)
  • OLAM (peanut shelling facility)
  • Lee Cotton Gin
  • Century Pecan Groves
  • Davis Farms (cotton, peanut, and vegetables)
  • Dollison Farms (farm-to-table pork, vegetables, and peanuts).

During the stop at OLAM Peanut Shelling Facility, Senator Warnock had a crash course about the economic impact of the peanut industry in Georgia, Georgia’s peanut exports, and the nutritional benefits that peanuts have. These remarks came from:

  • Jamie Brown, Senior Director of US Peanut Shelling Operations for OLAM
  • Don Koehler, Executive Director, The Georgia Peanut Commission
  • Tyron Spearman, Executive Director, The National Buying Points Association
  • Karl Zimmer, President & CEO of Premium Peanut

“As a member of U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, I am committed to supporting Georgia’s agricultural economy—and ensuring those Georgia farmers and producers that put food on the table have a seat at the table. Our state and nation are dependent on you and your important work.” – Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock.

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March 2021 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The March 2021 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

march_2021.inddThis issue features:

  • Peanut Industry Updates
  • 2021 Peanut Weed Guidebook
  • Program Approach for Weed Management
  • Grass Control
  • Control of PPO and ALS resistant Palmer amaranth
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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USDA Extends Application Deadline for the Quality Loss Adjustment Program

usdalogoinpnutfieldWASHINGTON, March 5, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.

“Because of recent winter storms and some program updates, we want to provide five additional weeks for producers to apply for the program,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). “I want to make sure eligible producers have the opportunity to apply and to work with our team members to help with any questions. We recently clarified policy to ensure producers who sold grain to the feed market due to quality issues are adequately compensated.”

About the Program

The QLA program assists producers whose eligible crops suffered quality losses due to qualifying drought, excessive moisture, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, or wildfires.

Eligible crops include those for which federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage is available, except for grazed crops and value loss crops, such as honey, maple sap, aquaculture, floriculture, mushrooms, ginseng root, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, and turfgrass sod. Additionally, crops that were sold or fed to livestock or that are in storage may be eligible.

Assistance is available in counties that received a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or Secretarial Disaster Designation, or for drought, a county rated by the U.S. Drought monitor as having a D3 (extreme drought) or higher. Producers in counties that did not receive a qualifying declaration or designation may still apply but must also provide supporting documentation.

FSA will issue payments once the application period ends. If the total amount of calculated QLA payments exceeds available program funding, payments will be prorated.

More Information

FSA began accepting applications on January 6 and has received more than 8,100 applications so far.

To apply, contact your local USDA Service Center. Additional information is also available at farmers.gov/quality-loss. Producers can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364.

While USDA offices are currently closed to visitors because of the pandemic, Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. To conduct business, please contact your local USDA Service Center. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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

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January/February 2021 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The January/February 2021 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

sepfjanfeb2021_cvrwebThis issue features:

  • Coastal Growers Plan $87 Million Shelling Plant
  • 2021 Peanut Variety Guidebook
  • Winter Nursery Breeding
  • Peanuts Go Mobile
  • Balancing Act – Production & Global Trade
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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October/November 2020 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

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

octnov2020sepf_cvrThis issue features:

  • Promoting Peanuts during a Pandemic
  • Social Farming – Connecting consumers to the farm
  • Virtual Field Days Offer Online Learning
  • No Easy Fix for 2020 Peanut Efficiency Winners
  • RESPECT – Smith retires after 40 years of top-notch writing
  • Georgia Peanut Farm Show set for January 20-21
  • Georgia Peanut Achievement Club Announces High Yield Farmers
  • The Peanut Institute Foundation Funds New Peanut Nutrition Research
  • USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers Impacted by COVID-19
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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USDA Reminds Farmers of September 30 Deadline to Update Safety-Net Program Crop Yields

Recent Rule on Payment Limitations and Payment Eligibility Does Not Impact 2020 or 2021 Payments

2019_gptcordele9906_sept30dateWASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2020 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farm owners of the September 30 deadline to update Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program yields for covered commodities on the farm. This is a one-time opportunity for producers to update yields, which are used to calculate 2020 through 2023 payments.

“Don’t miss this one-time opportunity to update yields for the Price Loss Coverage program,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “Please contact your FSA county office to schedule an appointment.”

Updating yields requires the signature of one owner on a farm and not all owners. If a yield update is not made, no action is required to maintain the existing base crop yield on file with FSA.

For program payments, updated yields will apply beginning with the 2020 crop year which, should payments trigger, will be paid in October 2021. Additionally, recently published updates to the payment limitation and eligibility provisions for Farm Bill programs do not impact payments from ARC and PLC for the 2019 crop year or the 2020 crop year.

The updated yield will be equal to 90% of the average yield per planted acre in crop years 2013-2017. That excludes any year where the applicable covered commodity was not planted and is subject to the ratio obtained by dividing the 2008-2012 average national yield by the 2013-2017 average national yield for the covered commodity.

FSA published a final rule in August 2020 that made updates to payments limitations and payment eligibility for programs, many of which were directed by the 2018 Farm Bill. For ARC and PLC, these updates will not take effect until 2021 crop payments that will be made in October 2022.

For more information, reference resources, and decision tools, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc or contact your FSA county office, which can be located at farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

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

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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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