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The annual Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show is fast approaching. This year’s show will be held Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, located on Hwy. 231 South in Dothan, Alabama.AL-FL trade show logo color 2016

Sponsored by the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and the Florida Peanut Producers Association, the one-day event offers farmers a full day to view the products and services of more than 80 exhibitors and a day of education. The show opens at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until noon.

Peanut growers who attend will not only be able to fine tune their farming operations, but will have a chance to win prizes valued at thousands of dollars.

This year’s grand prize is being sponsored by Kelley Manufacturing Company who is offering the use of a new 6 Row Peanut Combine on the grand prize winner’s farm for the 2016 harvesting season, (valued at $15,000), with the option of purchasing the combine through an authorized KMC dealer with $15,000 off the list price.

In lieu of the 6 Row Combine the winner can choose the use of another KMC Peanut Harvest Implement with a 10% discount off the list price for purchase. The winner must be certified as a peanut grower with an FSA farm number, and must be present to win.

Following the catered lunch, a seed seminar will be held.

Topics and guest speakers for the seed seminar will be: Varieties Currently in Production and on the Horizon – Dr. Bill Branch, professor/peanut breeder, University of Georgia, and Dr. Corley Holbrook, peanut breeder, USDA/ARS; Current Breeding Research update – Dr. Marshall Lamb, National Peanut Research Lab/ Auburn University; The Peanut Genomic Initiative – Dr. Steve Brown, The Peanut Foundation.

All peanut growers are invited and encouraged to attend. For more information on the show, including exhibit space availability, contact:

Teresa Mays at APPA (334) 792-6482 or Sherry Saunders – FPPA (850)526-2590

Bentley seeks disaster declaration

Bentley seeks disaster declaration

Heavy rain during peak harvest times in south central Alabama and the Wiregrass has prompted Gov. Robert Bentley to ask for an assessment to determine whether area counties qualify for federal disaster assistance. flood rains on peanuts

According to news reports, Bentley sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Thursday requesting a formal damage assessment for the counties of Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Macon, Pike and Russell.

Bentley indicated in the letter that cotton, peanuts, pecans, soybeans and sweet potatoes were all negatively impacted because a percentage of the crops remain in the field and are unable to be harvested due to the saturated soil.

“All of this damage will result in a loss of income to Alabama’s agricultural industry,” Bentley wrote in the letter to Vilsack.

State Sen. Harri Anne Smith (I-Slocomb) said she and Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) had been working with the governor to inform him of crop conditions in the Wiregrass.

Coffee County farmer Carl Sanders said the amount of harvest remaining in the fields varies from farmer to farmer. But Sanders, a peanut farmer, said a pretty significant percentage remains.

“The weather is not cooperating,” Sanders said. “We need a lot of sunshine and a nice breeze. I think it would certainly help to get an assessment done.”

Rainfall amounts could vary greatly from county to county, but Dothan has received a total of 6.01 inches of rain so far in November. In what may be more significant for farmers, Dothan has received a measurable amount of rain in eight of the first 12 days of November and six of the last seven days of October.

Allen Barrentine, manager of Wiregrass Gin in Taylor and a peanut farmer himself, said the heavy rain not only keeps farmers out of the field, but diminishes the value of any peanuts that could be harvested.

“It really lowers the quality of the peanut and the farmers take a serious hit on the value,” Barrentine said. “What really hurt was last week after we got a lot of rain and then the sun came out and it was 80 and 85 degrees. The peanuts were so saturated with water that a lot of the ones above the ground sprouted.

“I would guess there could be 30 or 35 percent still out there. It’s pretty bad. A lot of the peanuts out there look like we’ve had two or three frosts on them already,” Barrentine added.

The purpose of a damage assessment is to determine the extent of agricultural losses to date related to weather. If the area receives a declaration, farmers affected could be reimbursed for a portion of their losses.

Sanders said the outlook for crops was promising earlier in the year. However, dry weather came at the wrong time. Then, rain came at the wrong time.

“We had a pretty crop on my farm in July and early August,” Sanders said. “We had very little rain in August and September until right at the end of September and it just turned bad.”

The Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank in Dothan, Ala. received 2,880 jars of peanut butter this morning from the Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA). That’s enough to make more than 51,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

The donation was made possible by the check-off dollars APPA receives from the approximate 1,200 peanut growers in the state.

The thousands of jars of peanut butter were donated by Peanut Proud, a non-profit organization which was created to assist in humanitarian relief efforts.

Not only are donations made to area food banks, but Peanut Proud also provides emergency assistance to those affected by natural disasters such as the recent flood areas in South Carolina.

Also attending today’s large delivery was Jason Rudd, president of the National Peanut Festival Association who presented a $700 check to the food bank.

Special thanks to Southern Ag Carriers for providing the delivery of the peanut butter.

IMG_6734 SM 2 (2)On hand for the special delivery were: (L-R) Jason Rudd, president, National Peanut Festival Association; David Hanks, executive director, Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank; Caleb Bristow, executive director, Alabama Peanut Producers Association; and peanut growers Thomas Adams of Newville, Ala. and George Jeffcoat of Gordon, Ala.

USDA issues safety net payments

USDA issues safety net payments

On Monday, October 26, 2015, USDA announced that nearly 1 million farmers will receive safety-net payments from the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2014 crop year. The programs provide important financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. More than 1.7 million farmers and ranchers participate in ARC or PLC. Peanut farmer in field

The ARC/PLC programs allow producers to continue to produce for the market by making payments on a percentage of historical base production, limiting the impact on production decisions.

Nationwide, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected the ARC-County coverage option. Ninety-nine percent of long grain rice and peanut farms, and 94 percent of medium grain rice farms elected the PLC option. For more info, visit

Crops receiving assistance include barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, and wheat. ARC-individual payments will begin in November. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress, requires USDA to reduce payments by 6.8 percent. For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local Farm Service Agency office.

According to the report, peanut farms total 49,356 with a total peanut base acres of 2,020,243 peanut base acres in 17 states. (List available upon request) A total of 49,026 farms selected PLC with a base total of 2,013,443. A total of 329 farms selected ARC with a base of 6,781 acres. “Unlike the old direct payments program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized a new safety-net that protects producers only when market forces or adverse weather cause unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The nearly $5.5 billion provided by the ARC and PLC safety-net programs will give assistance to producers where revenues dropped below normal.”

PAYMENTS ON PEANUT BASE – Earlier this year, USDA declared the national average price of peanuts for the marketing year 2014 was $440 per ton ($.22/lb). The Farm Bill provides that the reference price for peanuts is $535 per ton ($0.2675/lb). To obtain the PLC payment amount deduct the average price from the reference price and that is the peanut PLC payment of $95 per ton ($0.0475/pound). Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the reconciliation reduction (sequestration) is now 6.8 percent. Deduct the 6.8 percent from the $95 per ton ($0.0475/lb) and get $88.54 per base ton ($0.04427/lb). Payment acres are 85% of the farm’s base acres. There is a separate peanut payment limitation. Payments are limited to $125,000 per eligible producer. Payment limitation includes benefits received from peanut market loan gains, loan deficiency payments, and ARC/PLC payments for peanuts. Reports indicate payments should be received this week.


PB donated

PB donated

Peanut Proud has donated 62,000 jars of peanut butter to help the thousands of families affected by the flooding disaster in South Carolina. The estimated retail value of this donation is $180,000. Peanut proud SM jar clear background 2014 April

Peanut Proud is facilitating three shipments of various brands of peanut butter manufactured by J.M. Smucker Company, Algood Foods, Golden Boy Foods, The Kroger Company, and John B. Sanfilippo & Son. Southern AG Carriers delivered the first shipment of peanut butter to Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, SC on Thursday, October 8; the two remaining shipments are expected to be delivered the following week.

Peanut Proud’s efforts are bolstered by those of peanut state grower organizations, in addition to the National Peanut Board. The National Peanut Board also recently approved a donation of $10,000 for disaster relief to Peanut Proud.

Peanut butter is the number one most requested item by food banks due to its nutritious, inexpensive and shelf-stable nature. Peanut Proud President, Gregg Grimsley, said peanut butter is, “a product that is almost perfect for disaster relief…Because it is shelf stable. You can store it without refrigeration, without electricity. Once again it gives you most of the nutrition that you need from just peanut butter.”

To make a life saving donation, visit the donation portion of Peanut Proud’s website or send a check to: Peanut Proud, 2015 Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 446, Blakely, GA  39823

Trade delegation visits peanut area

Trade delegation visits peanut area

Dozens of representatives gathered in peanut country yesterday as the American Peanut Council hosted a reverse trade mission with a Mexican trade delegation in Dothan.ed white mexican

The delegation, consisting of peanut buyers from national and international food companies, toured a Georgia shelling plant in addition to Henry County farmer Ed White’s peanut farm. White, who serves on the National Peanut Board and Alabama Peanut Producers Association board of directors, said promoting American peanuts is a top priority.

“As a member of the National Peanut Board, I support all peanuts,” White said. “These buyers aren’t able to buy all the Texas peanuts they want, so by coming here and getting a taste for the sweeter Southeastern peanut, maybe it will open up some markets for us.”

Erica Hansford, marketing and communications manager for the American Peanut Council, said trade delegation trips provide positive interaction between buyers, processors and farmers.

“Mexico is one of the largest consumers of our products, so this is a good way to facilitate face to face meetings,” she said.

While at White’s farm, buyers posed for pictures, saw peanuts being harvested and asked questions.

Claudia Nakatani, a representative of Productos Nipon in Mexico City, Mexico, said her first trade mission was a pleasant one.

“I can say I will definitely consider buying Alabama peanuts,” she said. “I can taste the sweetness, and I can see how much quality peanuts in this area have.”

For Christian Ibarrola, a representative of Productos Winnuts in Monterrey, Mexico, attending trade missions allows him to interact with farmers and other buyers.

“It’s great for me as a customer,” he said. ”Even though we see a lot of the same things it’s also good to hang out with out competitors and get to know new vendors. We just started buying from the American Peanut Producers Association, and we’re looking forward to strengthening that relationship.”

El Niño adds sense of urgency

El Niño adds sense of urgency

AUBURN, Ala.—One of the strongest El Niño climate phases in decades has been building for several months and could make for a tricky fall harvest in Alabama and the lower Southeast.

Row crop farmers preparing for harvest should think in terms of “the sooner the better,” said Auburn University researcher Brenda Ortiz, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences. A primary focus of Ortiz’s research is the impact of weather and climate on agriculture.

Brenda Ortiz, associate professor in the Auburn University College of Agriculture’s Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, is shown discussing the fall climate forecast with regional Extension agent Tyler Sandlin at the Agronomic Field Day held recently at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope.

Brenda Ortiz, associate professor in the Auburn University College of Agriculture’s Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, is shown discussing the fall climate forecast with regional Extension agent Tyler Sandlin at the Agronomic Field Day held recently at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope.

“The strongest El Niño on record occurred in 1997, and the one forecast for this year could top that,” she said, noting that climate prediction models forecast an all-time record El Niño October, November, December and January.

“There have been indications since this past spring—based on climate models and sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean—that we are entering an El Niño climate phase, meaning a cooler and wetter fall and winter (in Alabama),” said Ortiz, whose research explores how rainfall and temperature affect crop yields by influencing plant growth and development rates, in addition to pest and disease dynamics. “The sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific have to be warmer than normal, and that’s the main indication of changes toward the El Niño phase.”

All signs point to one of the strongest El Niño’s in recent years, she said. But knowing what’s in store for the coming months can help farmers prepare for the worst.

“Producers may want to schedule to have extra equipment on hand, and they’ll want to get into their fields as quickly as possible to harvest peanuts and cotton this fall,” Ortiz said. “They might see significant yields losses if they delay harvesting. It also could prove challenging to find a suitable window of good weather to dig peanuts and defoliate cotton prior to harvest.”

These weather conditions also will have an impact on planting wheat and other cover crops.

“I’d recommend growers plant their wheat and cover crops as early as possible this fall because field conditions will get wetter the further along we go into the year,” she said. “If it’s too wet, getting a good stand could become an issue. Growers might have to increase their seeding rates for these crops to compensate for stand loss.”

Few things affect farmers more than the weather, said Alabama Farmers Federation’s Brian Hardin, noting dry conditions help at harvest, but rain is important for farmers planting fall crops and it could help farmers down the road.

“Several areas of the state have been suffering from moderate drought conditions, so rain will help recharge those surface water sources,” said Hardin, director of the Federation’s Department of Governmental and Agriculture Programs. “Water is important for farmers who want to irrigate crops next spring and summer and for cattlemen who need moist soil for winter forage.”

El Niño, La Niña and Neutral are the three climate phases of ENSO, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, Ortiz said. In the Southeast, ENSO affects rainfall and temperatures during fall, winter and spring, with an El Niño occurring every two to seven years.

Winters and springs are wetter and cooler than normal in El Niño years but drier and warmer than normal in La Niña years.

One doesn’t have to look too far back in history to see when a strong El Niño severely impacted fall harvest and planting activities, Ortiz said.

“In the fall of 2009, farmers in the Southeast had many difficulties harvesting peanuts and cotton, and some cotton was even harvested the following January,” she said.

2014 Peanut PLC Payment Calculation

2014 Peanut PLC Payment Calculation

peanut rowsFrom the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness:

USDA-NASS has reported the 2014 marketing year national seasonal average price for peanuts to be $0.22/lb which translates to $440/ton FSP. This can be found on the USDA-NASS website ( using their Quick Stats at the bottom of the home page.

If the national seasonal average price is below $535/ton FSP, a 2014 peanut PLC payment will occur. The PLC payment will be $535-$440= $95/base ton FSP.

The farmer has two ways to calculate the total payment per farm serial number.

  1. The farmer would take the $95/base ton times 85% of the base acres (includes generic base allocated to peanuts) on that farm serial number times the payment yield for that farm serial number. This total payment would be reduced by the sequestration cut. Based on the USDA-FSA Handbook for ARCPLC, the 2014 sequestration cut would be 7.3%. This approach is what one would see and hear from USDA-FSA folks and the press.
  2. The alternative approach which the NCPC prefers is as follows. Both approaches will yield the same total PLC dollar amount per farm serial number. First, the farmer calculates their total peanut base tonnage per farm serial number by multiplying the base acres (includes generic base allocated to peanuts) times the payment yield. This will allow the farmer to compare their total base tonnage on that farm to their total production. The farmer would then multiply the PLC payment per ton (in this case it is $95/base ton) by 85% and then reduce that value by the sequestration cut (7.3%). That is $95*.85*(1.0-0.073) which equals $74.85525. One can view the $74.85525 as the net PLC per base ton. The farm’s total PLC payment would then be $74.85525 times the total base tons on the farm.

The farmer needs to be cautioned in that the total payments from all of their farms will be directly attributed to the individual with a cap of $125,000 per entity. If a farmer had any 2014 peanut crop MLGs, that MLG will also be attributed back to the individual and count against the $125,000 payment limit. Based on when the farmer received their MLGs, those gains may count first against their payment limit which could lead to further reduction in actual PLC payments. Southern commodity organizations are working with Members of Congress in obtaining generic certificates applicable for the 2015 and 2016 crops. If successful, the generic certificates would be substituted for potential LDP/MLG which would not be counted against one’s payment limit.

Finally, not knowing how USDA-FSA will round and when they will round, their final numbers may differ slightly from the numbers presented above due to rounding.

Pod blasting available this season

Pod blasting available this season

Peanut harvest is only a few weeks away and now is the time for growers to check their peanuts to determine the optimum maturity date. Digging peanuts at the right time is one of the most important decisions a producer can make. Peanut pod blasting techniques help farmers determine the ideal time to dig peanuts which can increase their bottom line. This management tool can add 300-500 pounds per acre and add 3-5 points on grading. hand with peanuts unshell

“The time a farmer spends sampling and peanut pod blasting at our workshop pays dividends by adding to his peanut profits at harvest time each year,” said Jimmy Jones, Henry County Extension coordinator. “This method helps the grower make the most of the crop he has produced by maximizing his yield potential and making the highest grades possible for the year; therefore, the grower makes as much profit out of his peanuts for his one paycheck a year.”

Kris Balkcom, research associate with Auburn University and an advisor for the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, encourages growers to use the pod blasting procedure for pre-harvest testing. “It gives you a more timely digging date which helps make the best maximum grade and weight,” said Balkcom.

Growers interested in getting assistance in West Alabama can contact the Gulf Coast Research Center in Fairhope at 251-928-2740. The center is located at 8300 State Highway 104, Fairhope, AL 36532. The facility is open Monday – Friday, from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The schedule for the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland will be from 8:00 a.m. – 12 noon each Tuesday and Friday during the months of September and October. All other times will be by appointment only by calling the Henry County Extension System at 334-585-6416.

WREC hosts field crops day

WREC hosts field crops day

The Wiregrass Research & Extension Center (WREC) in Headland, Ala. hosted their annual Field Crops Day last Friday, August 21st.ALFD 3

It was evident, with the standing room only crowd during the registration portion, this year’s field day was very important to farmers who were anxious to learn as much as possible from field tests at the conducted at the center. With a total of eleven researchers on hand ready to give results from their test plots, growers were able to gain up to date information to help them back on the farm.

Farmers were also able to watch demonstrations on a variety of spray nozzles under simulated wind conditions to learn more about spray drift during application.