McMillan testifies during U.S. House Ag Committee hearing on farm bill

Joy CarterNews0 Comments

2017_timmcmillan_photofromhearing

Tim McMillan, farmer from Enigma, Georgia, testifies on behalf of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation today at the hearing titled, “The Next Farm Bill: Commodity Policy Part II” before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tim McMillan, farmer from Enigma, Georgia, testified today in support of maintaining the peanut provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program in the next farm bill. In his testimony, McMillan says, “If the PLC program had not been in place, I am afraid many farms in the Southeast would no longer exist because of the downturn in the farm economy which has plagued us the past three years.” McMillan testified on behalf of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation today at the hearing titled, “The Next Farm Bill: Commodity Policy Part II” before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation’s member organizations produce approximately 80 percent of the U.S. peanut crop. The Federation members include Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.

According to McMillan, the Federation supports maintaining the current PLC program in the 2014 Farm Bill including the current reference price for peanuts, a separate peanut payment limit and storage and handling provisions.

According to McMillan’s testimony, the 2014 Farm Bill was drafted during a period of high prices on the farm. “When we compare average prices in 2011-12 to 2016 prices, we see a 30 percent decline in peanut prices,” he says. “I see the real impact of these numbers in the faces of my neighbors and hear it in discussions with lenders and our suppliers.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected 2017 net farm income in the U.S. to be $62.3 billion which translates to a 49.6 percent decline in net farm income since 2013.

The PLC program has worked for peanuts, McMillan adds, but peanuts are not sufficient to carry an entire farming operation. “In a time when corn and cotton prices have been depressed and with the lack of a cotton PLC program, more pressure has been placed on farmers to plant peanuts by lenders,” McMillan says.

Currently, demand of peanuts has kept pace with the supply of peanuts. U.S. per capita peanut consumption increased 12 percent from 2012 to 2016. The peanut industry has also witnessed strong growth in the export market growing by 71 percent between the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bill.

For more information and a copy of the complete testimony provided by McMillan visit, www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.

Download Tim McMillan’s testimony.

U.S. peanut industry donates 30,000 jars of peanut butter to Capital Area Food Bank

Joy CarterNews, Uncategorized0 Comments

The U.S. peanut industry donates more than 30,000 jars of peanut butter to Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. on National Ag Day, March 21, 2017.

The U.S. peanut industry donates more than 30,000 jars of peanut butter to Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. on National Ag Day, March 21, 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. peanut industry donated more than 30,000 jars of peanut butter to Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. on National Ag Day, March 21, 2017. The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest organization in the Washington metro area working to solve hunger and its companion problems: chronic undernutrition, heart disease, and obesity. The donation was made possible by the partners of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, which includes Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.

“We have found that peanut butter is one of the most requested items by food banks nationwide”, says Caleb Bristow, Alabama Peanut Producers Association executive director and Southern Peanut Farmers Federation member. “Not only is it a high-quality product, but it is full of nutrition and tastes great. On behalf of the Southern Peanut Farmer’s Federation, representing peanut farmers all across the Southeast, we are excited and proud to have this opportunity to provide this donation to the Capital Area Food Bank.”

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., representative of Georgia’s second congressional district, joined the Federation members during the donation.

“I am honored to serve the top peanut producing congressional district in the country. Peanuts are a vital product of Middle and Southwest Georgia, and a key ingredient for an assortment of delicious and nutritious food products,” Congressman Bishop says. “I applaud the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation for their donation of 30,000+ jars of Peanut Proud peanut butter to the Capital Area Food Bank. This kind and generous donation will aid the Food Bank in their efforts to feed and provide for the surrounding community.”

By partnering with 444 community organizations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as well as delivering food directly into hard to reach areas, the CAFB is helping 540,000 people each year get access to good, healthy food.

“We applaud their focus on nutrition combined with educational support,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission and Southern Peanut Farmers Federation member. “In the Washington, D.C., area 700,000 residents are at risk of hunger and we are proud as an industry to help support the food bank that is serving families in need in the area.”

Donations from organizations such as the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation are essential to the food bank’s operations, and allow the Capital Area Food Bank to distribute 46 million pounds of food to its network of partner nonprofits each year.

“Peanut butter is one of the hardest items to keep on our shelves because it’s protein-packed, kid-friendly, and in high demand from our partners,” said Jody Tick, chief operating officer at the food bank. “We’re thrilled for this donation, and 30,000 jars of peanut butter will go a long way towards helping children and families in our area get the food they need to live well”.

The donation was also made in celebration of National Peanut Month in March and National Ag Day. One serving of peanuts is a good source of protein, vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus and magnesium. Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.
For additional details on the donation, visit the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation website at www.southernpeanutfarmers.org.

###

Syngenta Helps #Peanut Growers Celebrate Survival

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio, Conference Sponsors0 Comments

spgc-16-syngenta-lyleAttendees at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference danced the night away to the sounds of The American Flyers Saturday night, thanks as always to the generous support of Syngenta.

“We were one of the first sponsors and we’re proud to be part of it – it’s a family,” said Lyle Stewart with Syngenta, who says they are with peanut growers for the long haul.

“The one thing we continue to try to do is reinvest in our products through research and development,” Stewart said. Syngenta has introduced two new products recently for peanut growers with another one on the way in 2018. “Our hope is that if we continue to do the research to offer these new products to the peanut growers that will help them survive,” Lyle added.

Listen To MP3 Interview with Lyle Stewart, Syngenta

Thanks again to all of the sponsors who make the SPGC possible – See you next year!

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Alabama Peanut Exec Survives #2016SPGC

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-calebAlabama Peanut Producers Association Executive Director Caleb Bristow survived his first “real” Southern Peanut Growers Conference and came through with flying colors.

“Last year I didn’t have a whole lot to do because I was still the new guy on the block, but this one has been a lot more involved and it’s been good,” said Bristow, who adds that attendance was back up in the 600 range this year.

Bristow says the theme of Survivor really struck a chord with participants this year. “Market prices are low, farmers are struggling – they’re surviving,” he said.

In this interview, Caleb also discusses the state of the Alabama peanut crop: Listen To MP3 Interview with Caleb Bristow, Alabama Peanut Producers

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Koehler Honored by Congress

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio1 Comment

spgc-16-koehlerGeorgia Peanut Commission Executive Director Don Koehler was honored last week by a Congressional resolution honoring him for his 30 years of service to the industry.

“It was a real shock,” Don said after receiving the presentation from Michael Reed, chief of staff for Rep. Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA2). In addition to Bishop, the motion for the resolution was introduced by several other Georgia Congressional representatives, including Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA1), Austin Scott (R-GA8), David Scott (D-GA13), and Rick Allen (R-GA12). “The commission’s been in business 53 years and I’ve been there 30 of them as executive director and I love the people I do this with and for – I’m a blessed person.”

In this interview, Don talks about this year’s SPGC and what the peanut crop looks like in Georgia – all the good, the bad and the ugly of it. Listen To MP3 Interview with Don Koehler, GA Peanut Commission

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Verdesian Primo Power for #Peanuts

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio0 Comments

spgc-16-verdesianVerdesian Life Sciences was on hand at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference to talk about a new product to help producers survive.

“We have a new liquid in-furrow peanut inoculant called Primo Power CL,” said Stan Deal with Verdesian. “It’s a higher concentrated form inoculant for the rhizobia for the peanut plants and it’s going to be released this year.”

Learn more in this interview: Listen To MP3 Interview with Stan Deal, Verdesian

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Focus on Surviving Another Farm Bill at #2016SPGC

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio, News0 Comments

spgc-16-reddingIt may seem like the last farm bill process just ended, because it did only two years ago, but already farm state legislators and agricultural organizations are looking ahead to starting the 2018 Farm Bill negotiations.

“We’re wrapping up with the 2014 farm bill as far as any regulations that were outstanding and now we’re moving into prep for the 2018 bill,” says Bob Redding of The Redding Group, who represents peanut farmers on Capitol Hill. “So in 2017, farm groups will start with their policy process, you’ll have hearings and we’ll begin the 2018 farm bill process.”

Bob talks about how this process will be different than last time in this interview:
Listen To MP3 Interview with Bob Redding, The Redding Group

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

New Company Joins #2016SPGC Family

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio, Conference Sponsors0 Comments

spgc-16-vantageVantage South is a precision equipment and services dealer based in Alabama and they were a new sponsor this year at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

Josh Carnley says they really enjoyed their first year. “This is a venue where most of your progressive, larger, more advanced farmers come and that’s our target customer,” said Carnley.

Vantage South is a Precision Planting and Trimble dealer for Alabama, Northwest Florida, and Southern Mississippi. Learn more about them at their website or Facebook page and in this interview:

Listen To MP3 Josh Carnley, Vantage South

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

#Peanut Oil – Fuel for Survival

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference, Audio0 Comments

Providing a new jet fuel source could be a new market for the peanut industry, one that is in the process of being evaluated by both USDA and the Navy.

spgc-16-lamb“I think we owe it to ourselves that any time we can get our product into a new market that we explore these options,” said Dr. Marshall Lamb with the USDA/ARS National Peanut Research Lab during a panel presentation at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference on the potential for peanut oil as a fuel source.

Dr. Lamb told attendees that peanuts have an advantage over many other crops in that they have a very high oil content. “We’ve got an oil content of roughly 50 percent,” he said, compared to soybeans at just 18 percent and canola about 40. “And if you look at the amount per acre, peanuts are far higher than any other crops we can grow.”

Listen to Marshall’s presentation here: Listen To MP3 Dr. Marshall Lamb, National Peanut Research Lab

Also presenting during the session were Ronnie Davis, USDA Rural Development, and Ed Coppola, Applied Research Associates and you can listen to them below. Chris Tindell with the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy was unable to attend the conference as scheduled but another representative gave a power point presentation by phone on the evaluation of peanut oil as a fuel under the U.S. Navy’s biofuel mandate.

Listen To MP3 Ronnie Davis, USDA Rural Development

Listen To MP3 Ed Coppola, Applied Research Associates

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Farm Press Honors Efficient #Peanut Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman2016 Conference0 Comments

spgc-16-peasThe 17th annual Farm Press awards presented to peanut farmers in different regions this year had a new name – the Peanut Efficiency Awards. The Farm Press editorial staff made the name change this year from profitability to efficiency but the end result is the same – three outstanding farmers who utilize the best tools and practices for maximum results on their farms.

This year’s winners are pictured here with Farm Press Publications Content Director Forrest Laws on the right and Dr. Marshall Lamb of the National Peanut Research Laboratory on the left.

They are:
Lower Southeast Region – Matt Bryan of Newton, GA with his wife Tonya
Upper Southeast Region – the Belch family of Conway, NC – Brandon and fiance Lauren, Mike and Cindy
Southwest Region – Rickey Beardon of Plains, TX with his wife Karen

Learn more about them from Farm Press and thanks to Farm Press for their long standing support of the peanut industry and the Southern Peanut Growers Conference.

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album