Southern Peanut Farmers Federation applauds U.S. House Ag Committee Listening Session
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (June 24, 2017) The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation today applauded U.S. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway and the other members of the committee who held a listening session today about the 2018 Farm Bill.
Representatives attending from state associations included: * Caleb Bristow, Executive Director, Alabama Peanut Producers Association. * Don Koehler, Executive Director, Georgia Peanut Commission * Gerald Long, President, Georgia Farm Bureau * Will Ellis, Peanut Grower and owner of Jeff Davis Peanut Buying Point * Larry Ford, Peanut Grower * Ken Barton, Peanut Grower and Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association.
“I’m very appreciative to Chairman Conaway for taking the time to come to the peanut producing area to hear the views of peanut farmers,” said Caleb Bristow, executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. “The current Peanut Program is very important, not only to peanut farmers, but to our families and communities as well.”
Ken Barton, executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association, said the listening session was an ideal format for members of the Agriculture Committee to be in Florida and understand how the Peanut Program works to support farmers and communities. “I’m especially grateful to our Florida delegation, Congressmen Dunn and Yoho for hosting today’s event. While citrus is bigger than peanuts in Florida, our delegation understands how important the Peanut Program is to Florida’s economy. Today was a good opportunity to discuss how a fair reference price brings certainty to farming – both when demand is high, like it is currently, and during times of economic downturn.”
The Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, which was included in the 2014 Farm Bill, works for farmers and consumers. It is a common-sense and market-based solution offering farmers a price floor that promotes constancy and access to lending amidst market uncertainty. Since peanut reference prices are set by the Farm Bill and applied for a full five years, the system in place ensures stability in times of both prosperity and times of economic downturn. This underscores why a realistic reference price is paramount. The market-based Peanut Program serves as an important backstop to secure loans. Without the certainty the peanut program brings to peanut farmers, banks would not extend loans – putting many peanut farmers out of business.
Demand for peanuts is currently on the rise and exceeds supply as interest in the health benefits of peanuts continues to grow. Peanuts have seen continued per capita consumption growth for years, jumping from 6.60 pounds per capita to 7.41 between 2012 and 2016.* This means that market prices are expected to increase and Peanut Program support to farmers, and cost to the government, will be minimal.
Pictured is Caleb Bristow, executive director of Alabama Peanut Producers Association testified today during the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Listening Session on the 2018 Farm Bill at the University of Florida in Gainesville.