October/November 2021 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

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

octnov_2021.inddThis issue features:

  • Quail Forever recognizes Davis Family Farm as 2021 Precision Farmer of the Year
  • Georgia Peanut Commission and GPB Education launches Georgia Peanuts Virtual Learning Journey
  • Alabama Harvest Tour
  • Georgia Peanut Farm Show set for Jan. 19-20
  • Georgia Peanut Achievement Club Announces High Yield Farmers
  • Georgia Peanut Restaurant Week
  • Review of the 22nd Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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Higher Loan Limit Now Available for USDA Guaranteed Farm Loans

USDA Extends Disaster Set-Aside for Direct Loans Until 2022

usdalogoinpnutfieldWASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a higher loan limit will be available for borrowers seeking a guaranteed farm loan starting Oct. 1, 2021, from $1.776 million to $1.825 million.

“Farm loans are critical for our customers’ annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs, and cash flow,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said. “Raising the guaranteed loan limit will allow FSA to better meet the financial needs of producers as natural disasters and the pandemic continue to impact their operations.”

FSA farm loans offer access to funding for a wide range of producer needs, from securing land to financing the purchase of equipment. Guaranteed loans are financed and serviced by commercial lenders. FSA provides up to a 95% guarantee against possible financial loss of principal and interest. Guaranteed loans can be used for both farm ownership and operating purposes.

In fiscal year 2021, FSA saw continued strong demand for guaranteed loans. FSA obligated more than $3.4 billion in guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans. This includes nearly $1.2 billion for beginning farmers. The number of guaranteed borrowers has grown by 10% to more than 38,750 farmers and ranchers over the last decade. FSA expects the increasing demand for farm loans to continue into fiscal year 2022.

Disaster Set-Aside Extension

USDA has additional support available to producers given the recent outbreaks of the COVID-19 Delta variant and has extended the availability of COVID-19 Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) for installments due through Jan. 31, 2022. In addition, FSA will permit a second DSA for COVID-19 and a second DSA for natural disasters for those who had an initial COVID-19 DSA. Requests for a COVID-19 DSA or a second DSA must be received no later than May 1, 2022.

Last year, FSA broadened the use of the DSA. Normally used in the wake of natural disasters, the DSA can now allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19 and determined to be eligible, to have their next payment set aside. The set-aside payment’s due date is moved to the final maturity date of the loan or extended up to twelve months in the case of an annual operating loan. Any principal set-aside will continue to accrue interest until it is repaid. This will improve the borrower’s cashflow in the current production cycle.

More Information

Producers can explore available options on all FSA loan options at fsa.usda.gov or by contacting their local USDA Service Center. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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USDA Announces 2021 Loan Rates for Crop Peanuts

USDAWASHINGTON, July 30, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced 2021 crop loan rates for four types of peanuts. The rates take effect August 1, 2021, the beginning of the peanut crop year.

Eligible producers can obtain peanut loans through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices or alternative delivery partners, such as Designated Marketing Associations (DMA) and Cooperative Marketing Associations (CMA). These loans provide producers with interim financing on their production and facilitate the orderly distribution of loan-eligible peanuts throughout the year.

The 2018 Farm Bill established the national loan rate for peanuts at $355 per ton. USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) calculated the price support levels for each peanut type using the same method as last year. The 2021 Crop Peanut Loan Rate was calculated using the national loan rate and five-year average quality factors, along with a three-year simple average weighted production.  For an average grade ton of 2021 crop peanuts, loan levels by type are:

Runner-type peanuts $354.89 per ton
Spanish-type peanuts $343.05 per ton
Valencia-type peanuts $357.70 per ton
Virginia-type peanuts $357.70 per ton

CCC applies premiums and discounts for quality factors to compute the loan value for an individual ton of peanuts. The actual loan level depends on the percent of various sizes of kernels in each ton. CCC uses the percentage of sound mature kernels (SMK) and sound splits to compute the basic loan value of the load. SMKs are whole kernels that pass over the testing screen officially designated for each type of peanut. Sound splits are whole kernels split into two pieces. Excess sound splits receive discounts. There are discounts for other kernels, damaged kernels and foreign materials. An additional discount occurs for loose shell kernels. Other quality discounts also may apply.

For each percent of SMK in a ton of peanuts, plus each percent of sound splits, the loan levels are:

Runner-type peanuts $4.812 per percent
Spanish-type peanuts $4.788 per percent
Valencia-type peanuts $5.393 per percent
Virginia-type peanuts $4.908 per percent

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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July/August 2021 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

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

sepf_julyaug2021_coverThis issue features:

  • Peanuts in the Big Easy – Peanut Leadership Academy graduates Class XI
  • Upcoming Peanut Field Days
  • 2021 Georgia Peanut Tour set for Tifton area
  • Harvest Guidebook
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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May/June 2021 – Southeastern Peanut Farmer

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

sepf_mayjune2021_cvrThis issue features:

  • Peanut Allergy Treatment Provides Parents Hope
  • 22nd Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference set for July 15-17
  • 2021 Irrigation Guidebook
  • Check off reports from the state grower organizations
  • Legislative Update
  • Southern Peanut Growers Update
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Peanut Farmer Antitrust Settlements

Recently, some farmers may have received an email or letter in the mail regarding an antitrust litigation notice. Do not disregard the notice! If you received the notice then check the peanut sales information listed on the letter and file your claim by July 13, 2021.

If you do not submit a valid Claim Form by the deadline, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement Fund, but you will be bound by the Court’s judgment in these actions.

The notice was sent to farmers or entities who sold raw, harvested runner peanuts in the U.S. to Birdsong Peanuts, Golden Peanut or Olam Peanut Shelling Company from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2019. The full notice regarding the proposed settlement is available at www.PeanutFarmersAntitrustLitigation.com.

Continue to check the website to be kept informed about any future developments. If you believe you are a member of the Class, you are urged to obtain a copy of the Notice, which explains your rights regarding the settlements and related matter. The Notice is available at www.PeanutFarmersAntitrustLitigation.com.

If you have any questions concerning this litigation, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at (844) 754-7469 and Info@PeanutFarmersAntitrustLitigation.com.

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Peanut Allergy Treatment Provides Parents Hope

IMG_0573Henry 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.

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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