Applications are now being accepted for Peanut Leadership Academy Class XII

Applications are now being accepted for Peanut Leadership Academy Class XII

Applications are now being accepted for Class XII of the Peanut Leadership Academy. To be eligible for participation, candidates must derive their primary livelihood from farming and currently produce peanuts, make a commitment to the program and agree to attend all sessions except in times of illness or a family emergency, be between the ages of 22 and 45 and provide a completed application.


The Peanut Leadership Academy is a cooperative effort between Syngenta Crop Protection, the American Peanut Shellers Association and grower organizations. The program began in 1998 with the first class of 14 peanut growers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Since then, the academy has grown to include growers from Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and sheller representatives.


During the program, participants are taught how to become more effective spokespeople for the peanut industry, develop industry relationships and further grow their leadership skills. Five sessions take place throughout the 18-month class and require approximately 20 days of travel. During the sessions, activities are structured to give participants a thorough understanding of the United States peanut industry and include industry tours, meetings with industry leaders and professional development training. Each class also has one leadership session in Washington, D.C. where participants have an opportunity to visit with members of congress on issues affecting the peanut industry.


To download a copy of the upcoming class application, visit Applications must be postmarked or emailed to by Oct. 1, 2021, for consideration. The first session will begin in December 2021.


Download Application HERE!

Alabama Ag Economic Update Newsletter

Alabama Ag Economic Update Newsletter

Dr. Adam Rabinowitz, Extension Economist for Alabama Cooperative Extension and Auburn Unversity, is sharing the first edition of the Ag Economic Update, a newsletter from the ACES Farm and Agribusiness Management team focused on providing information relevant to Alabama farmers, landowners, lenders, and other stakeholders in the state.


If you would like to receive future issues published quarterly, subscribe at this link .


Click on the link below to read the first edition of the Ag Economic Update:



Weed Management Tours for Peanuts and Cotton

Weed Management Tours for Peanuts and Cotton

Peanut and cotton growers in Southeast and Southwest Alabama have the opportunity to visit weed management test plots in July. These tours give growers a look at which chemicals are working in the fields, and an opportunity to learn about new options for weed management. The peanut research is funded by growers check-off dollars through the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and National Peanut Board.


The Gulf Coast Research & Extension Center in Fairhope will host the Weed Management Tour on Thursday,  July 8, 2021. The tour is scheduled for 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Breakfast will be provided. Contact Guilherme Morata at for more information.





The Wiregrass Weed Tour is scheduled for Monday, July 12, 2021 at the Wiregrass Research & Extension Center in Headland. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Tour begins at 9:00 a.m. A lunch will be served. Please RSVP for lunch to the Wiregrass Research & Extension Center at 334-693-2363 or Agronomic REA Sedrick Mack:334-441-8384.

Tropical Storm Claudette Leaves Peanut Fields Soggy

Tropical Storm Claudette Leaves Peanut Fields Soggy

While the rain many received from Tropical Storm Claudette is appreciated, it has been said you can have too much of a good thing.


Peanut growers in Southeast Alabama received the majority of the rainfall. Mark Kaiser, a Baldwin County peanut farmer and APPA vice president, received over 7 inches of rain. Escambia County peanut farmer and APPA board member, Sammy Gibbs, has reported receiving over 10 inches on his farm. Other parts of the state’s peanut growing areas did not receive quite as much – Wendy Yeager, peanut farmer in Dallas County, reports only receiving 3 inches from Tropical Storm Claudette.


Kris Balkcom, Auburn University peanut specialist, weighs in on the impact of receiving large amounts of rain during the current peanut growing season:


“Obviously we don’t need 10 inches at one time. However, we seem to get these bigger rainfall events more often now than the smaller more frequent rains. My first concern is that peanuts don’t like saturated soils. Most years we would have a larger percentage of the crop at the fruiting stage than what we have currently this year. The crop was delayed at planting this year so it is at least two weeks further behind than what we would like and to get a big benefit from the heavy rainfall amount.”


“An older crop would have bigger plants, larger root mass and a higher water demand. Therefore, the bigger rainfall amount is not as critical with these smaller young plants. For the most part, this rain is just replenishing the sub soil moisture because not many producers got to plant as early as they wanted and the crop isn’t in the heavy fruiting stage.”


“Watch out for those wetter natured areas of fields and the fields that are flatter with heavier soils. If you see the peanuts yellowing, you may have to cultivate them. The cultivation will help aerate the soil to allow oxygen to get to the roots. The plants will then begin to green back up relatively quickly. Also, with the later planting date many producers are trying to apply herbicides currently to the crop. This particular rainfall event will hinder that, delaying the spray application and effecting the timing of application causing us to miss an opportunity to kill some of the weeds at the right time.”



Steve Li, Alabama Extension weed specialist, shares how this rainfall event can hinder weed control:


“Every growing season is different and unique, and this year is no different. Since late spring, we experienced very wet conditions until mid-May, then very dry, then very wet again. It is almost like in a blink of an eye, field conditions are totally switched from one extreme to the other. Many cotton and peanut fields in south Alabama were planted during the dry spell. Growers were concerned that their residuals behind the planter might be wasted. The concern is real because I have seen Palmer amaranth and sicklepod break though almost any type of herbicide I have put out behind the planter in my research plots. Without adequate and timely rainfall, the herbicides are not helping weed control much.”


“Before growers have time to deal with escapes from PRE application, the intense rainfalls in the last several days may throw more people off the weed control bus as they cannot get back to their fields for a while. Palmer, grasses, sicklepod and other weeds are fully utilizing this period to grow as fast as they can. By the time farmers can spray them, they might be too big to control by any herbicides. This is an unfortunate situation that someone will need to deal with.”


Do you already have big weeds in your peanut fields? Dr. Li shares his recommendations for getting rid of them and cleaning up your fields after all this rain.


Click here to read his recommendations: Peanut weed control update June 22


2020 Estimated Peanut Production for Alabama Released

2020 Estimated Peanut Production for Alabama Released

The USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) has published the 2020 estimated peanut production for Alabama. NASS has estimated that Alabama peanut growers produced 637 million pounds of peanuts in 2020. That makes Alabama 2nd in the nation in peanut production, with Georgia ranking first. The U.S. produced 6.13 billion pounds of peanuts in 2020.

Houston County is estimated as the top peanut producing county with 105,930,000 pounds of peanuts produced, and Baldwin County comes in next at 96,070,000 pounds of peanuts produced. The top five is rounded out by Geneva County, Escambia County and Henry County, respectively.


View the USDA NASS report here – ALPeanut2020

Released May 2021 by USDA, NASS

Peanuts… A Super-powered Superfood Grown by Superheros

Peanuts… A Super-powered Superfood Grown by Superheros

The world was caught off guard in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Peanuts proved to be a necessity to many Americans during this uncertain time. According to the National Peanut Board, March 2020 peanut butter sales increased 75% over the previous year, and per capita consumption of peanuts increased to 7.6 pounds in 2020 – an all-time high!


Peanuts have the most protein of any nut – 7 grams per 1 ounce serving. They contain more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals, good fiber and good fats. It takes a small serving of peanuts to reap huge benefits on your health. Eating a 1 ounce serving of peanuts a day can help reduce your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer.


This superfood is also sustainable and leaves a small carbon footprint. Peanuts are a “zero-waste” plant, even the hulls are utilized. It takes only 4.7 gallons of water to grow 1 ounce of peanuts – that’s less than any other comparable sources of nutrition. Peanuts improve the soil because they are nitrogen fixing, which means they take nitrogen from the air and produce their own in the ground, benefiting other crops grown in the same soil.


Throughout 2020, our peanut farmers still managed to plant another nutritious and affordable food crop to feed our nation. Alabama ranked second in the nation in pounds of peanuts harvested. Farming is a risk-taking profession. Even with new technologies and innovations, it takes faith to plant a peanut seed in the spring and wait to reap the harvest in the fall.


“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” Ecclesiastes 11:4


Our peanut farmers will tell you that the reward of harvesting a nutritional, affordable and delicious food crop outweighs the risks, and that makes them our SUPERHEROS.


The Peanut Institute –
National Peanut Board –
USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service –

Peanuts are Part of a Healthy Diet for Life

Peanuts are Part of a Healthy Diet for Life

National Peanut Month is a great time to focus on Peanut Nutrition. USDA released the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) at the end of last year. The DGAs are notable to the peanut industry for the following reasons:


    • For the first time ever, the DGAs have included nutrition guidance for infants and children 0-24 months and for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

    • Highlighting these groups includes the early introduction of peanut foods and eating peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

    • The guidance for introducing peanut foods is more inclusive to all babies, stating “Introducing peanut-containing foods in the first year reduces the risk that an infant will develop a food allergy to peanuts.”

    • Pregnant and lactating women are encouraged to eat a diverse diet and not to eliminate potentially allergenic foods as a way to prevent food allergies in their child.


The new DGAs also help us highlight that peanuts are part of a healthy diet for life. Research confirms that peanuts provide the body with protective benefits that are essential for healthy aging.


Heart Health: Peanuts provide benefits for the most important muscle in the body, the heart. Peanuts have an FDA-approved heart health claim that says, “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove that eating 1.5 oz. per day of most nuts, including peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”


Diabetes Management: Peanuts and peanut butter are great for people with diabetes because they have been shown to have a low glycemic index and are full of good nutrients, along with being on many recommended food lists, including the American Diabetes Association.


Skin Health: Vitamin E, found in peanuts, can help reduce build-up of free radicals from the sun. Free radicals speed up conditions related to the aging process. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provides 15% DV of Vitamin E.


Vision Health: Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., affects nearly 11 million people ages 60 and older. A 2017 study found that eating peanuts is associated with a lowered risk of AMD. (Source: Chiu C-J, Change M-L, Li T, Gensler G, Taylor A. Visualization of dietary patterns and their associations with age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017;58:XXX-XXX. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.16-20454)


What’s all this great information tell us? To keep eating peanuts, peanut butter and other peanut products!


Need some help finding recipes? Visit to find delicious peanut recipes for breakfast, lunch, snack and more.


This information was provided by the National Peanut Board (NPB). The NPB works to improve the economic condition of USA peanut farmers and their families through compelling promotion and groundbreaking research.

Coastal Growers Shelling Facility in Atmore

Coastal Growers Shelling Facility in Atmore

UPDATED 3/10/21


ATMORE, ALA. – Today, Wednesday March 10th , Coastal Growers LLC held their official groundbreaking ceremony. The city welcomed Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to Atmore as part of the groundbreaking ceremony.


“I’m thrilled to be a part of the groundbreaking for Coastal Growers, which will be a first-class peanut production facility,” Gov. Ivey said. “Coastal Growers is proving that Alabama’s economy remains strong and is bouncing back from what has been a hard year. This partnership is a win-win for Atmore, the surrounding communities and the state of Alabama.”



Written December 8, 2020


ATMORE, ALA. – Coastal Growers LLC plans to build an $87 million peanut shelling and storage plant in Atmore, AL. The plant, targeted to open up in December of 2021, will bring at least 100 jobs to the area with more temporary workers being needed during peak shelling times.


The idea of the cooperative shelling plant for Southwest Alabama began two years ago when several grower leaders approached a group of buying points from east and west Alabama and made it clear that this is something they wanted to pursue. The “why” behind the company was very simple, growers want to maximize farm profits.


“With commodity prices at such depressing levels, we as growers have been open to consider anything that might give us a better opportunity to financially survive,” says Joe Parker, owner and general manager of Summerdale Peanut in Baldwin County and a member of Coastal Growers.


The cooperative shelling plant model gives growers the opportunity to collectively sell on the shelled goods market rather than the traditional farmers stock market.


“This, our investors believe, will give them the best chance to enhance earnings and have a sustainable family farm,” Parker says. “Independent buying points go where their customers want to go in order to not lose tonnage. Therefore, this is a win-win for the growers and the buying points.”


The company was able to receive over $20 million in grants and incentives through Federal, State and local governments.  In addition, the US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, recently approved a USDA loan guarantee for a substantial part of the project funding. Economic Development agencies from the State of Alabama and Escambia County, Alabama, also provided support.


Parker commented that the support from Governor Kay Ivey, Senator Richard Shelby, Senator- Elect Tommy Tuberville, Atmore Mayor Jim Staff, as well as the Alabama Farmers Federation have all been incredibly helpful.


Baldwin County farmer Mark Kaiser said the new plant will allow local farmers to capture more of the profit off of their crops by becoming vertically integrated.


“This facility will be owned by the farmers who use it, and they’ll keep those profits themselves,” says Kaiser who serves as the Alabama Peanut Producers Association vice president. “That’s good for both the farmers and for the immediate area, because the money will just keep turning over locally.”



Directed by a board, Coastal Growers is owned by a cooperative of 90 farm families and will work with 6 buying points. Most of the farmers reside in Alabama but there are members from the Mississippi River to the Chattahoochee River. The company is still accepting new members, however will be limiting it soon due to capacity constraints.