Farm Bill Fight Over Base Acres Expected

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) recently voted to request that Congress require a mandatory base acre update in the upcoming farm bill reauthorization, a proposal which is causing a lot of concern both in Washington DC and around the countryside.

“This was new, certainly surprising to us and a lot of other commodities,” said Bob Redding, during his annual update on peanut policy at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference. “This creates a whole different discussion in the farm bill and it will be very divisive.”

Redding says Dr. Stanley Fletcher, ABAC Center for Rural Prosperity, worked up the numbers on how a mandatory base acre update determined by recent history would impact the peanut industry. “Alabama on peanuts will lose almost have of their base, Georgia roughly 30 percent, Florida and Mississippi also lose,” said Redding.

“Peanuts will lose about 40 percent of their base,” said Dr. Fletcher, and farmers may have to make a decision when it comes to strategy for the farm bill. “What’s more important to you, maintaining your base or getting that reference point higher?” he asked.

Listen To MP3 Bob Redding remarks”] (20:01)

Listen To MP3 Dr. Stanley Fletcher remarks”] (26:44)

Thanks to all the SPGC Sponsors

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, Audio, Conference SponsorsLeave a Comment

The Southern Peanut Growers Conference is able to offer such a great program because of the amazing sponsors who make it possible.

Once again, FMC sponsored the family entertainment Friday night for all the mateys on the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise. All the kids loved singing pirate songs, swabbing the deck, having sword fights, and finding treasures.

FMC is one of nearly 50 sponsors for the conference who help defer the costs for growers to attend each year.

Ag Technologies has been sponsor of the conference blog since it was started in 2008 and we chatted with Travis Kelly again this year to find out what’s new with the precision ag company located in Cordele, Georgia.

“We like to support the industry in general,” said Kelly. “We found out very early that peanut growers are someone we could really help (with precision ag).”

Listen To MP3 Travis Kelly, Ag Technologies (2:24)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference photo album

Strengths of Precision Agriculture for Peanuts

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Dr. Simer Virk, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension precision agriculture specialist, has been working on precision agriculture applications in peanuts for the past five years and he told the Southern Peanut Growers Conference that he sees a lot of promise in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance peanut production.

“Artificial intelligence in agriculture is already picking up,” said Dr. Virk. “Sensing and detecting weeds in real time and spraying, we’re already seeing that application out there, and we’re going to see more and more of it.”

Dr. Virk was just named Ag Tech Educator/Researcher of the Year at the Tech Hub LIVE conference. His current research is evaluating performance of application technology on sprayers and VRT on fertilizer application equipment to improve application accuracy and placement of pesticides and nutrients.

Listen to an interview with Dr. Virk here:
Listen To MP3 Simer Virk, University of Georgia (4:09)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference photo album

Farm Press 2023 Peanut Efficiency Award Winners

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Once again this year, the Farm Press 2023 Peanut Efficiency Award winners were honored at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference. The winner from the Lower Southeast states was Ryan Jenkins of Jay, Florida who farms 2,000 non-irrigated acres of peanuts, cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat and oats.

Jenkins encouraged all peanut farmers to participate in the award program, if only for their own self-improvement. “Get the application and fill it out, even if you don’t turn it in for the contest,” he said. “It took a day for me to fill my application out and that’s when you really begin to learn and you see real numbers right in front of your face.”

Listen To MP3 Ryan Jenkins, PEA winner (3:10)

The other three PEA winners were:
Upper Southeast states – Colt and Brandon Woody, Aiken, SC
Listen To MP3 Colt Woody, PEA winner (:29)

Southwest states – John Reddecop, Seminole, TX
Listen To MP3 John Reddecop, PEA winner (:30)

Southwest states – John Reddecop, Seminole, TX
Listen To MP3 Triple D Farms, PEA winner (1:17)

Nuseed Carinata Offers Option for Peanut Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Nuseed Carinata was one of this year’s exhibitors at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, offering peanut growers an opportunity to plant a cover crop that provides extra income.

“Our crop is rotated in with peanuts,” said Michelle Howard, Carinata commercial program manager. “You can plant carinata in the early November to mid November time frame and then harvest in April to May…It’s a cover crop that is profitable as well.” Howard says this is the second year they are contracting with growers.

Farmers harvest the carinata and Nuseed buys it from them. “It’s crushed and blended into biodiesel…the oil we produce is actually owned by BP and BP is using it for aviation fuel.”

Learn more in this interview.
Listen To MP3 2023 SPGC – Michelle Howard, Nuseed (2:11)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference photo album

Exploring the Future of Non-food Uses of Peanuts

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Finding new uses for peanuts is becoming a priority for the industry and Dr. Marshall Lamb, USDA-ARS National Peanut Research Lab, says a recent symposium explored some of the possibilities, such as high-oleic peanuts.

“Scientists are proving that we can add high oleic peanuts into the diets of poultry and actually see the benefits in the final product to the consumer, which is a more heart-healthy egg,” said Dr. Lamb.

Lamb says another opportunity for peanuts is sustainable aviation fuel. “Peanut oil is very suitable for conversion into a jet fuel…to be able to get into that market would be a further use for peanuts and peanut oil in the future,” he said.

Listen To MP3 Marshall Lamb, National Peanut Research Lab (2:54)

University of Georgia peanut breeder Dr. Nino Brown says they are developing varieties for both the high oleic and normal oleic peanut market.

“The high-oleic acid concentration gives it much longer shelf life, so it’s really good for candy bars,” said Dr. Brown. “Whereas a normal oleic peanut is required for the peanut butter industry.”

Dr. Brown says they are also developing peanuts with higher oil content for the fuel market, and he says it takes about ten years for a new peanut variety gets to market.

Listen To MP3 Nino Brown, University of Georgia (3:03)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Valor Award Goes to Lewis Carter Jr.

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

David Yoder, Valent, presents Valor award to Lewis Carter Jr.

Everyone in the peanut business knows LMC Manufacturing, since about 95 percent of the industry uses machinery built by the legendary company started in 1941 by Lewis Carter Jr.’s grandfather.

This year, Carter received the Valor award, sponsored by Valent, for the contributions LMC has made to the peanut industry. “We look for that winner to be somebody that’s made a big difference in the peanut world,” said Valent territory manager David Yoder.

“When the people you work with, your customers, your associates, recognize the contributions you try to make, it’s very humbling and overwhelming,” said Carter.

Listen To MP3 David Yoder, Valent” (1:37)

Listen To MP3 Lewis Carter, Jr., LMC Manufacturing (1:50)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Rep. Austin Scott Addresses 2023 SPGC

Cindy Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

With Congress on summer vacation until September 12, it’s unlikely the September 30 deadline for a new farm bill before the old one expires will be met. But, as Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) told the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, Congress still has to do something.

“Every five years we write a farm bill, it’s a temporary change to permanent law written in the ’30s and ’40s,” said Scott. “The option of doing nothing doesn’t exist. If you do nothing, you revert to permanent laws that are dust bowl era policies that would destroy the food supply of this country.”

Scott, who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, believes the time has come to separate farm programs – ARC, PLC and crop insurance – from SNAP and the other food programs that make up the bulk of a farm bill. “Many of the people in the ag industry have disagreed with me on this, but it’s time to split the bill,” he said.

Since SNAP benefits are part of permanent law and will continue even if a farm bill does not get passed, Scott suggests making ARC and PLC part of permanent law as well. “And then we need to separate the legislation and do smaller pieces of legislation every other year instead of one super-sized piece of legislation every five years.”

Scott also expressed disappointment that Congress failed to pass an agriculture appropriations bill last week but found time to have a hearing on UFOs. Listen to his remarks and comments to the media below.

Listen To MP3 Rep. Austin Scott remarks (13:35)

Listen To MP3 Rep. Austin Scott media (13:41)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Current Situation from Southern Peanut Growers State Execs

Chuck Zimmerman2023 Conference, AudioLeave a Comment

Southern Peanut Growers State ExecutivesAt the start of conference we get a chance to visit with each of the state peanut association executives. This year we have a new Executive Director at the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Libbie Johnson. Along with her are Ken Barton, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Don Koehler, Georgia Peanut Commission and Malcolm Broome, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.

Topics and issues in the states are pretty similar to last year. Each executive director provides an outlook on the peanut crop in their state. The Farm Bill is of higher importance because we’re getting closer to possible new legislation by the end of the year. We’ll be hearing more about it during the conference. Input costs and other factors are making financial difficulties for peanut farmers. Relatively new on the program this year is a discussion on new non-edible uses for peanuts and newer precision agriculture technology.

Listen in and hear how things are going in each state.

Listen To MP3 Malcolm Broome, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association (5:05)

Listen To MP3 Don Koehler, Georgia Peanut Commission (6:58)

Listen To MP3 Ken Barton, FPPA (4:32)

Listen To MP3 Libbie Johnson, Alabama Peanut Growers Association (3:47)

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

2023 Southern Peanut Growers Conference

Chuck Zimmerman2023 ConferenceLeave a Comment

2023 Southern Peanut Growers ConferenceIt is that time. Time for the 24th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference which will be held July 27-29, 2023 at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, Miramar Beach, Florida.

The three-day event provides farmers with information about peanut production, legislative issues, marketing and promotions. In addition to the conference sessions, the event focuses on the family by offering a ladies program and a golf tournament. You can find the conference schedule here.

This conference blog will include speaker and sponsor interviews as well as photos from past conferences. See you there soon.