March 2018 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

The March 2018 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

march_2018_cvrwebThis issue features:

  • Peanut acreage on the rise in North Alabama
  • Peanut Weed Guidebook
  • Mississippi Peanut Growers holds annual meeting and trade show
  • Georgia Peanut Farm Show provides a day of education
  • 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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Budget Agreement Eliminates Generic Base

2017_gpt_albany_0302sCongress cleared a budget agreement and disaster-aid package that has a significant impact on farmers for the 2018 crop year. The budget agreement passed the House by a vote of 240 to 186 and passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 28. The President has also signed the legislation.

The legislation includes $90 billion in disaster assistance for communities impacted by storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and flooding. The legislation also includes provisions for cotton farmers by making seed cotton eligible for Title 1 Agriculture Risk Coverage and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.

Due to the new provisions for seed cotton, the generic base acres for farmers are eliminated for the 2018 crop. Growers will have to choose whether or not to move generic base acres to seed cotton base only or using the 2009-2012 crop year history and moving generic base acres to other covered commodities such as peanuts and seed cotton. Additional details will be forthcoming as the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency publishes details on how this will function for the 2018 crop.

To assist farmers in planning, the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness (NCPC) plans to launch the “2018 Seed Cotton Generic Base and Payment Yield Updating Calculator” this week.

The calculator was developed by the NCPC after reviewing the text of the seed cotton provision in the recently passed budget agreement and disaster aid package. The contents followed the procedures outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill for the other covered commodities payment yield updating and base reallocation provisions. Thus, the NCPC was able to utilize their previous decision aid built in 2014 that was based on the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The decision calculator program is easy to complete as it uses the software program Microsoft Excel,” says Dr. Stanley Fletcher, NCPC’s director and professor emeritus at the University of Georgia. “Farmers can follow the step-by-step instructions provided in the program in order to complete the calculator and determine their base acreages and payment yields. It is important for farmers to review all instructions before proceeding with the decision calculator.”

Peanut grower checkoff funds helped with the development of the decision calculator. Funds were derived from the members of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation (SPFF). The SPFF is comprised of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, the Florida Peanut Producers Association, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Georgia Peanut Commission. Funding also came through the Southeastern Peanut Research Initiative of the National Peanut Board and farmer checkoff dollars from Texas.

“It is imperative for producers to begin the process of collecting the necessary data now rather than later, given the 90-day deadline in the law,” Fletcher says. “Documents needed by the producer for this process will include the 2018 FSA-156EZ and the 2008-2012 FSA-578 forms for each farm serial number and the associated tracts for that farm serial number.”

The NCPC developed the calculator to assist producers in developing farm strategies and decisions based on their individual needs. The calculator is available for download on the Georgia Peanut Commission’s website, For additional questions, contact Dr. Stanley Fletcher, NCPC director, at 404-277-2319 or email at


Download Seed-Cotton Provision in Regards to Payment Yield and Generic Base Acres.


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Jan/Feb 2018 Southeastern Peanut Farmer

janfebsepf2018_cvrwebThe Jan/Feb 2018 issue of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer is now available online.
Click here!

This issue features:

  • Peanut Variety Guidebook
  • Peanut Breeders of the Southeast
  • The Value of Certified Peanut Seed
  • Mapping the Genetic Code
  • Knowing Production Costs
  • Major Impacts from Minor Elements
  • Special Review of the 42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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Mississippi Peanut Growers Association annual meeting set for Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2018

MPGAlogo_rgbThe Mississippi Peanut Growers Association plan to hold their annual meeting trade show Jan. 31- Feb. 1, 2018, at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The event provides growers with the latest information on peanut production, research and new products.

Growers will have the opportunity to visit with several exhibitors showcasing equipment and services for the peanut industry. Exhibits open at 1:00 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 31.
Speakers during the annual meeting will provide an update on Mississippi State University, agronomic practices, peanut market outlook for 2018, insect research in Mississippi peanuts. Growers will also hear reports on checkoff activities MPGA and the National Peanut Board as well as an update on the 2018 Farm Bill from Bob Redding.

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Perdue Names Appointees to the USDA Farm Service Agency State Committees

USDAU. S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the individuals who will serve on the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state committee in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The state committee is responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving appeals from the agriculture community, and helping to keep producers informed about FSA programs.

Each state committee has five members, one chairperson and four members. Additional appointees will be named at a later date. The individuals appointed to serve on this committee include:

Committee Chair Monica Carroll – Ozark
Andy Lavender – Brundidge
Rodney Moon – Harvest
Steve Penry – Daphne
Doug Trantham – Alexandria

Committee Chair Michelle Williamson – Dover
Mike Adams – Jennings
Mack Glass – Marianna
Mark Sodders – North Palm Beach

Committee Chair Allen Poole – Haralson County
L.G. (Bo) Herndon, Jr. – Vidalia
Meredith McNair Rogers – Camilla
Donnie Smith – Willacoochee

Committee Chair Ted Kendall IV – Bolton
Scott Flowers – Clarksdale
Bobby Moody – Louisville
Henry Reed – Belzoni
Rita Seward – Jackson County

The Farm Service Agency serves farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs. The agency offers farmers a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity and disaster programs. FSA continues to conserve natural resources and provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit, including special emphasis on beginning, underserved and women farmers and ranchers.

Under the direction of Secretary Sonny Perdue, the USDA will always be facts-based and data- driven, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. Secretary Perdue leads the USDA with four guiding principles: to maximize the ability of American agriculture to create jobs, sell food and fiber, and feed and clothe the world; to prioritize customer service for the taxpayers; to ensure that our food supply is safe and secure; and to maintain good stewardship of the natural resources that provide us with our miraculous bounty. Understanding that we live in a global economy where trade is of top importance, Secretary Perdue has pledged to be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.

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Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference set for Thursday, Jan. 18

fsconflogoProducers can improve the bottom-line of their farming operation with knowledge, connections and information gained at the 42nd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Jan. 18, 2018, 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 show, which is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission.

During this year’s show, Kelley Manufacturing Co. is providing the Grand Door Prize Package of one season’s use of a new peanut combine (choice of four-row, six-row or combine with Unload-On-The-Go option). At the end of the 2018 season, the winner has the option of purchasing the combine from an authorized KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price. Also, KMC is providing a second drawing for one season’s use of a new Digger Shaker Inverter (choice of rigid or flex model in a two-row, four-row or six-row) or the use of a new KMC Dump Cart. At the end of the 2018 season, the winner has the option of purchasing the digger or dump cart from an authorized KMC dealer with 10 percent off the list price.

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 digger/inverter or a certificate good for the amount of $10,000.00 towards the purchase of any new Amadas self-propelled combine or $5,000 towards the purchase of a new 4-row or 6-row 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 and present to win.

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 noon for all peanut farmers in attendance. The Georgia Peanut Commission will present a short program beginning at 12:15 p.m. that will cover award presentations and an update from the National Peanut Board and Washington.

The University of Georgia Peanut Team will present an educational peanut production seminar from 9:00 until 10:30 a.m. Team members will provide information on irrigation management, insects, fertility, disease and nematodes as well as provide a year in review of the 2017 crop. Farmers will also have the opportunity to earn private or commercial pesticide applicator certification.

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, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and the Georgia Peanut Commission. Growers will be able to learn about farm-saved seed, peanut varieties available for 2018 and varieties on the horizon.

The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with the OneBlood, will host a blood drive from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the show. 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

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National Peanut Board elects 2018 officers

National Peanut Board 2018 officers pictured are (l-r) Andy Bell, Georgia, secretary; Dan Ward, North Carolina, vice-chairman; and Greg Gill, Arkansas, chairman. Not pictured: Peter Froese Jr., Texas, treasurer.

National Peanut Board 2018 officers pictured are (l-r) Andy Bell, Georgia, secretary; Dan Ward, North Carolina, vice-chairman; and Greg Gill, Arkansas, chairman. Not pictured: Peter Froese Jr., Texas, treasurer.

Greg Gill, a peanut farmer from Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, was elected chairman of the 12-member National Peanut Board last week during the Board’s quarterly meeting in Washington, D.C. Gill, who served 2017 as vice-chairman, begins his one-year term Jan. 1.

“I’m honored to serve as chairman of the National Peanut Board this year,” said Gill. “We have a strong program of work to implement in 2018—such as supporting the launch of the first-ever peanut milk in retail stores nationwide and educating health professionals and parents about the NIH guidelines for introducing peanut products to infants. It should be a very busy and productive year.”

Also, National Peanut Board elected Dan Ward of Clarkton, North Carolina, as vice-chairman; Peter Froese Jr. of Seminole, Texas, as treasurer; and Andy Bell of Climax, Georgia, as secretary. These officers will serve one-year terms beginning Jan. 1.

For more information on the promotions and activities of the National Peanut Board, visit their website at

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Peanut milk now on the market

DSC_4086-Edit_peanutmilkwebPeanut milk made its debut recently at the American Peanut Council Winter Conference. Attendees were able to sample the original peanut milk and a chocolate version at a luncheon sponsored by the National Peanut Board. According to the nut-milk processor, Elmhurst, the milked peanuts beverage offers more protein and less sugar when compared to other nut milks on the market.

“The launch of the Elmhurst brand of Peanut Milk products truly opens up a new product category for our industry,” says Bob Parker, National Peanut Board president and CEO. “This new category introduction is important to our industry because the peanut market is mature in the U.S., with peanut butter on the pantry shelves in 94 percent of American    households.”

Milked Peanuts has 31 peanuts per eight-ounce glass and uses runner peanuts with no emulsifiers or additives, according to Kimberly Behzadi, product manager for Elmhurst. The product contains filtered water, peanuts, cane sugar, natural flavors and salt; while Milked Peanuts-Chocolate adds cocoa (Dutch-processed) to the ingredient list.

Elmhurst has a patented cold-milling process that uses water to separate and draw out all the nutrients from the whole, raw ingredients. Once the water is released, the nutrients
re-combine naturally to form a smooth, creamy beverage without the use of chemicals or thickeners.

Milked Peanuts and Milked Peanuts-Chocolate will be in thousands of retail stores in January, according to Elmhurst, including Walmart, Big Y in New England, Gelson’s Markets on the West Coast, Giant Eagle Supermarkets and The Fresh Market, both along the East Coast. Consumers also can buy the products online through Amazon, Walmart or Elmhurst’s website.

“Because our product is shelf-stable (up to six months, unopened), it can be easily shipped anywhere in the country,” Behzadi says.

“We believe peanut milk has the potential to increase consumption by one-to-two percentage points in the coming years,” Parker says. “Consumers are looking for more plant-forward products, and as they see the nutritional advantages and great taste of peanut milk, we believe it will be widely accepted.”

National Peanut Board played a key role in guiding the development of the plant-based peanut beverage and securing a company to bring peanut milk to market. NPB will be supporting the marketing efforts of Elmhurst throughout 2018.

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2017 Census of Agriculture Gets Underway

Census17_Phase3_Button_300x250The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) starts mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation’s producers this week. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.

“The Census of Agriculture is USDA’s largest data collection endeavor, providing some of the most widely used statistics in the industry,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840, the census gives every producer the opportunity to be represented so that informed decisions can support their efforts to provide the world with food, fuel, feed, and fiber. Every response matters.”

The census will be mailed in several phases through December. Farm operations of all sizes which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2017 are included in the census. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation.

NASS revised the census forms in an attempt to document changes and emerging trends in the industry. Changes include a new question about military veteran status, expanded questions about food marketing practices, and questions about on-farm decision-making to help better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers, and others involved in running a farm enterprise.

“Producers can respond to the census online or by mail. We highly recommend the updated online questionnaire. We heard what people wanted and we made responding to the census easier than ever,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “The online questionnaire now has timesaving features, such as automatic calculations, and the convenience of being accessible on mobile and desktop devices.”

The census response deadline is February 5, 2018. Responding to the Census of Agriculture is required by law under Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113. The same law requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. NASS will release the results of the census in February 2019.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit or call (800) 727-9540.

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Perdue announces Farm Service Agency and Rural Development State Directors

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced a slate of Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD) State Directors, all serving as appointees of President Donald J. Trump.  FSA State Directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states. They are also responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the state FSA office.  Similarly, RD State Directors work to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.

“These state directors will help ensure that USDA is offering the best customer service to our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers across the country,” Secretary Perdue said. “FSA and RD both play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture, and are able to connect with people in their home states.  They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers.  Our goal is to help rural America prosper, and these state leaders will be of great assistance in that task.”

The following is a list of State Directors Perdue released in primary peanut growing states:

FSA State Directors:

Alabama: David McCurdy
David McCurdy began his career with USDA in 1987 and has served in various roles throughout the Farm Service Agency.  A third generation farmer, David raises cattle, farms soy beans and corn, and also maintains a small timber operation.

Arkansas: David Curtis
David Curtis has worked the past 34 years for Farm Service Agency, serving as the County Director with loan approval authority in North Central Arkansas.

Florida: Neil Combee
Neil Combee currently serves in the Florida House of Representatives and previously served on the Board of Southwest Florida Water Management District and was a Polk County Commissioner.

Georgia: Tas Smith
Tas Smith has been employed at the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation since 2005, with a focus on working with farmers across Georgia to positively shape federal farm policy.

Mississippi: Bobby Carson
Bobby Carson has worked with the National Cotton Council and served as President and Chairman of Cotton Incorporated and the Cotton Foundation, before also serving on the Mississippi FSA State Committee from 2003 thru 2008.

North Carolina: Len McBride
Len McBride began his career with the Farm Service Agency 32 years ago and prior to his appointment he served as a District Director for the FSA based in Statesville, NC.

Oklahoma: Scott Biggs
Scott Biggs is currently a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is well known in the Oklahoma agricultural community for his work to enhance agriculture in the state.

South Carolina: Boone Peeler
Boone Peeler is the Vice President of Harvey Peeler’s Farm, Inc., has been a member of Gaffney, SC city council since 2006, and has worked at the South Carolina Health and Human Services Department.

Texas: Gary Six
Gary Six has been employed by USDA for the past 40 years, while also serving the last 32 years as County Executive Director of Yoakum County.

Virginia: Nivin Elgohary
Nivin Elgohary has served Rural America since she arrived in 1999 at USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and most recently she served as Senior Vice President – Electric, Water, and Community Facilities at CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving America’s rural infrastructure needs.

Rural Development State Directors:

Alabama: Chris Beeker
Chris Beeker grew up on a catfish and cattle farm in the smallest county of his state and through extensive experience of working on the family farm and other business ventures has firsthand knowledge of the positive and important impacts of USDA programs for all communities and especially rural America.

Alaska: Jerry Ward
Jerry Ward is an Athabascan Indian from the Caribou Tribe, born and raised in Alaska, and has a record of public service, including in the U.S. Navy Seabees in Vietnam, as Rural Affairs Coordinator with the Department of Corrections, as Legislative Liaison for the Alaska Energy Authority.  He has also served as a member of the State House of Representative, with a seat on the Finance Committee, and in the State Senate as Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee addressing rural Alaska issues.

Arkansas: David Branscum
David Branscum is serving his fourth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives and is a cattleman who has been active with several civic organizations serving to empower rural Arkansas.

Florida: Sydney Gruters
Sydney Gruters has worked for U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan for more than 10 years in an official capacity and has served as the congressman’s liaison regarding all USDA issues that affect rural development.

Georgia: Joyce White
Joyce White served as Chief of Staff in the Georgia Department of Agriculture, was an executive assistant for the CEO of Georgia-Pacific, served the same role in Governor Sonny Perdue’s office, and has focused on helping rural Georgia.

Mississippi: John Rounsaville
John Rounsaville served as State Director for USDA Rural Development in the Administration of President George W. Bush and brings to the Trump Administration two decades of experience in economic and community development, infrastructure planning, and public policy.

North Carolina: Bob Chandler
Bob dedicated his career to agriculture from starting his first internship with USDA in 1974, serving for 35 years, and retiring in 2009. Since 2009, Bob has been Consulting for a Faith based Nonprofit and holding USDA Mediations for the North Carolina Agricultural Mediation Program and Farm Agricultural Resources and Mediation in Virginia.

Oklahoma: Lee Denney
Lee Denney practiced mixed animal practice for 35 years and has served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and on the Cushing City Commission.

South Carolina: Debbie S. Turbeville
Debbie Turbeville is being promoted to the position of State Director after spending her entire career serving in almost every role at the state level of the agency, having risen in the ranks from the GS-2 level when she started in 1982.

Texas: Edd Hargett
Edd Hargett began working for Electric Cooperatives in 1974 and has served as general manager of both distribution and G&T systems.

Virginia: Elizabeth Walker Green
Elizabeth has been working in Federal and State politics for over thirty years.

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