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A communication service of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation.

Contents October/November 2020


Joy Carter Crosby Editor 229-386-3690

Canceling events due to COVID-19 may have reduced the opportunity for on-site sampling promotions for the peanut industry. However, the peanut industry reimagined many events through online, virtual and other methods all aimed at reaching consumers.

Director of Advertising Jessie Bland Contributing Writers Kaye Lynn Hataway Southeastern Peanut Farmer P.O. Box 706, Tifton, Ga. 31793 445 Fulwood Blvd., Tifton, Ga. 31794 ISSN: 0038-3694

Southeastern Peanut Farmer is published six times a year (Jan./Feb., March, April, May/June, July/Aug., and Oct./Nov.) by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. The publisher is not responsible for copy omission, typographical errors, or any unintentional errors that may occur, other than to correct it in the following issue. Any erroneous reflection which may occur in the columns of Southeastern Peanut Farmer will be corrected upon brought to the attention of the editor. (Phone 229-386-3690.) Postmaster: Send address changes (Form 3579) to Southeastern Peanut Farmer, P.O. Box 706, Tifton, Georgia, 31793. Circulation is free to qualified peanut growers and others allied to the industry. Periodical postage paid at Tifton, Georgia and additional mailing office. Editorial Content: Editorial copy from sources outside of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation is sometimes presented for the information and interest of our members. Such material may, or may not, coincide with official Southern Peanut Farmers Federation policies. Publication of material does not necessarily imply its endorsement by the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. For editorial concerns call 229-386-3690. No portion of this or past issues of the Southeastern Peanut Farmer may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written consent of the editor. By-lined articles appearing in this publication represent views of the authors and not necessarily those of the publisher. Advertising: The Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertisement. Corrections to advertisements must be made after the first run. All billing offers subject to credit review. Advertisements contained in this publication do not represent an endorsement by the Southeastern Peanut Farmer or the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. Use of trade names in this publication is for the purpose of providing specific information and is not a guarantee nor warranty of products named. For advertising concerns call 229-386-3472.

Promoting Peanuts in a Pandemic


Social Farming Florida farmer Ryan Jenkins has a vision to reach consumers and connect them to the family farm. He uses social media platforms to educate consumers about farming through unique stories, photos and videos from the farm.


2020 Peanut Efficiency Winners The 2020 Peanut Efficiency Winners follow finely tuned production systems tailored to specific growing regions. The winners are: Kirk Jones, Upper Southeastern states; Joe Mullek and sons Tim, Michael, and Mark, Lower Southeastern states; father and son, Glen and Aaron Martin, Southwest; and Van Hensarling, Mid-South.

Departments: Checkoff Report .................................................................................. 6 Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Florida Peanut Producers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission and Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

Washington Outlook ............................................................................ 28 Southern Peanut Growers Update ........................................................ 30 Cover Photo: Chase Jenkins, Jay, Fla., captures video of his dad, Ryan, explaining the various pieces of equipment they use in peanut production for the Jenkins Farms YouTube page. Photo by Joy Crosby.

October/November 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer



Calendar of Events

Connections t’s fall and one of my favorite times of the year. A time filled with the smell of freshly dug peanuts, white cotton covered fields, pumpkin patches, hay rides and fairs. However, this year things are a little different. Many of the activities fall is known for are canceled or still happening with an added twist of social distancing and masks. The Georgia National Fair, National Peanut Festival, Sunbelt Ag Expo, Northeast Florida Fair and many peanut festivals have been canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19. Normally, the fall is a busy time for the checkoff organizations as we attend many of these events to promote peanuts. With their cancellation, we are inventing new ways to reach those consumers through social media, advertising and more. To learn more about the ways the peanut industry is stepping up to promote peanuts during the pandemic, read the article on page 8. Farmers are also stepping up and finding ways to connect consumers to the farm through social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Jenkins Farms in Jay, Florida, and learn more about their operation. Ryan Jenkins is always thinking outside the box for ways he can reach consumers such as a Facebook Live showing consumers how he is harvesting future Doritos or Peanut M&Ms. My family tagged along for the farm visit and Ryan and his son, Chase, did not disappoint my kids with a tour of the farm. They both were so patient with two kids wanting to ride every tractor, combine and Gator at the farm. Eli specifically wanted to drive the sprayer once we got to the peanut field. In fact, if you look closely, you can spot Eli helping to drive the sprayer on page 10. As Eli left the farm that day, he said he wants to grow up to be a farmer, so the Jenkins family left a lasting impression on my 7-year old. Ryan Jenkins has also created a group on Facebook titled, The Southeastern Ag Network. So, if you are interested in connecting with other farmers across the Southeast, sharing photos and stories then check the group out on Facebook. As you continue through the fall with harvest, I pray that you have a wonderful harvest, stay safe and help encourage future farmers along the way. t


u Georgia Agribusiness Council Harvest Celebration, Nov. 20, 2020, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, Ga. For more info visit or call 706-336-6830. u American Peanut Council Winter Conference, Dec. 9-11, 2020. For more info visit u Georgia Peanut Farm Show, Jan. 20-21, 2021, University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton, Ga. For more information visit u Georgia Agribusiness Council Annual Meeting and Legislative Breakfast, Feb. 2-3, 2021, Atlanta, Ga. For more info visit or call 706-3366830. u Alabama/Florida Peanut Trade Show, Feb. 4, 2021, National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, Dothan, Ala. For more info visit or u Georgia Peanut Research Report Day, Feb. 10, 2021, University of Georgia NESPAL Seminar Room, Tifton, Ga. For more info visit u National Peanut Buying Points Association Annual Meeting, Feb. 12-15, 2021, Hotel Emeline, Charleston, S.C. For more info visit u Florida Peanut Producers Association Annual Meeting, Feb. 25, 2021, Jackson County Agricultural Complex and Conference Center, Marianna, Fla. For more info visit

Joy Carter Crosby Editor

u Georgia PB&J Day, March 1, 2021, Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta, Ga. For more info visit u American Peanut Shellers Association Spring Industry Meeting, March 2-3, 2021, Albany, Ga. For more info visit the APSA website at u Southern Peanut Growers Conference, July 15-17, 2021, Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, Fla. For more info visit (Let us know about your event. Please send details to the editor at


Southeastern Peanut Farmer October/November 2020

Checkoff Report Investments Made by Growers for the Future of the Peanut Industry.

APPA attends Sweet Grown Alabama Farmer’s Market

Kaye Lynn Hataway, APPA project coordinator, visits with attendees during the Sweet Grown Alabama Farmer’s Market at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala.

Sweet Grown Alabama is Alabama’s newest initiative to provide a database of Alabama-grown products. Governor Kay Ivey signed a proclamation and declared July 22, 2020, as Sweet Grown Alabama Day. Nearly 30 vendors joined in to celebrate with a farmer’s market in front of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Vendors sold produce, honey, meat and other locally grown products. The Alabama Peanut Producers Association provided samples of roasted peanuts and distributed peanut fans, peanut butter spreaders, jar openers and recipes. Approximately 200 people visited the farmers market during the three-hour event.

APPA Sponsors Social Media Contest for Local United Way

APPA provided peanut baskets to encourage donations at the Wiregrass Area United Way Food Drive.

The Alabama Peanut Producers Association sponsored a social media contest for the Wiregrass Area United Way’s Pacesetter Event, which included a drive-thru food drive, July 31, 2020. People donating food were encouraged to post pictures of themselves donating food on social media for a chance to win one of three peanut product baskets provided by APPA. The community donated 15,977 pounds of food. Approximately 250 cars drove thru, and around 75 people posted a picture for the social media contest.

APPA Reveals New Farmer Peanut in Dothan

The APPA peanut farmer was welcomed home by APPA board and staff. Pictured left to right. Thomas Adams, APPA board member; George Jeffcoat, APPA board member; Jacob Davis, APPA executive director and Carl Sanders, APPA board president.


There’s a new peanut in Dothan, Alabama. The Alabama Peanut Producers Association revealed the newest member of the “Peanuts Around Town” peanut family Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. The peanut person is a peanut farmer, of course. With his APPA ball cap and overalls on, he is holding a vine full of runner peanuts and a jar of Peanut Proud peanut butter. The first peanut sculpture was put in place in 2002 at the APPA headquarters as part of the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority, public art project. There are currently more than 40 peanuts around Dothan. The new peanut statue gives honor to the approximately 1,000 peanut farmers in Alabama.

Southeastern Peanut Farmer October/November 2020

FPPA attends the Florida Academy of Pediatrics Virtual Conference The Florida Peanut Producers exhibited and attended the 2020 Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Virtual Conference. The in-person conference was canceled as most large gatherings have been because of COVID-19. Approximately 500 pediatricians, nurses and pediatric students registered and attended the virtual conference. This was a first for Florida Peanut Producers Association as an exhibitor in the virtual exhibit hall. The FPPA provided information on early introduction of peanuts to prevent peanut allergies and encouraged attendees to visit the website. Many of the attendees visited the FPPA virtual exhibit and requested print resources for distribution to their clients and patients.

Peanut industry donates peanut products for hurricane relief The state checkoff organizations are once again stepping up and making donations to Peanut Proud. The donations have been made to assist with COVID-19 relief at food banks as well as natural disaster relief from Hurricane Laura and Sally. In 2020, Peanut Proud has shipped more than 460,000 jars of peanut butter to assist food banks. Peanut Proud is still accepting donations to buy more peanut butter for food banks and disaster areas. To donate, send a check to Peanut Proud, P. O. Box 446, Blakely, Georgia, 39823 or donate online at

Reports from the: Alabama Peanut Producers Association Florida Peanut Producers Association Georgia Peanut Commission Mississippi Peanut Growers Association

Georgia Peanut Commission partners with Atlanta Hawks Star Trae Young in donating peanut butter to Atlanta-area schools

GPC attends the Georgia Nutrition and Dietetics Virtual Meeting

The Georgia Peanut Commission and the Trae Young Family Foundation partnered to donate 7,200 jars of Peanut Proud peanut butter to metro Atlanta school food pantries during the month of August. Peanut butter, one of the most-requested items among food banks, is one of Young’s favorite snacks he enjoys regularly to stay nourished and ready to play for the Atlanta Hawks. In his recently completed second season, Young was named an Eastern Conference All-Star and finished fourth in the NBA in scoring (29.6 points per game) and second in assists (9.3 assists per game). The donation took place in cooperation with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Peanut Proud. Peanut Proud is a humanitarian organization within the U.S. peanut industry working to aid in domestic hunger relief and emergency disaster relief through the distribution of peanut butter. The Atlanta Community Food Bank provides food and grocery products to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies with hunger relief programs throughout 29 counties in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Eighteen schools throughout the metro Atlanta area will be utilized for school distributions allowing local families suffering from food insecurity greater access to nutritious meals. “There are so many people in need of quality meals right now with school starting and the pandemic impacting how all of us live our lives,” Young says. “I am thankful to be working with a great organization in Peanut Proud to help supply families with a nutritious food option during these tough times.” Young shared a post about the donation with his nearly 750,000 followers on Twitter following the donation. The post garnered 18 comments, 91 retweets and 1,068 likes. The most recent Hunger in America report by the Atlanta Community Food Bank estimated that 755,400 people in metro Atlanta and north Georgia turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. This includes more than 164,000 children. “We are so thankful to the Georgia Peanut Commission for their generous donation that will greatly assist our mobile school pantry distributions. These distributions are vitally important in ensuring children in our community receive much needed, shelf-stable necessities, like peanut butter,” Shana Watts, Atlanta Community Food Bank food sourcing specialist says.

The Georgia Peanut Commission, along with Southern Peanut Growers, attended the Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting, Aug. 19, 2020. Originally scheduled for March 2020, the meeting was postponed due to COVID-19; and therefore, took on a new virtual format. The virtual meeting hosted 135 attendees, who are registered dietitians and nutritionists. GPC created a dedicated webpage for the meeting, which boasted a variety of nutrition content for dietitians to browse and download. This was shared with 1,200 plus members of the organization, as well as meeting attendees. GPC also hosted a live chat session with attendees to answer questions and provide more resources.

Georgia Peanut Commission sponsors professional golfer The Georgia Peanut Commission is proud to be a sponsor of Augusta native and UGA All-American, Greyson Sigg. Sigg, a professional golfer, recently earned a spot in the U.S. Open, which took place Sept. 1720 in Mamaroneck, New York. Prior to his Golfer Greyson Sigg U.S. Open debut, he showcases his golf bag featuring the Georgia finished fourth on Peanuts logo. the points list from the Korn Ferry Tour Series. GPC’s sponsorship with Sigg includes prominent placement of the Georgia Peanuts logo on Sigg’s golf bag, which he carries with him to all golf events. Learn more about Sigg online at

October/November 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


The home cooking trend continued throughout the summer with grocery retailers seeing higher sales. According to Lepicier, recent social media conversation around peanuts and peanut butter are driven by odd combinations or indulgent consumption moments linked to comfort or boredom, recipes, health tips and affordability. “Many people have rediscovered, or discovered for the first time, the joys of cooking at home and the cost benefits of doing so,” Wagner adds. To provide meal ideas, Southern Peanut Growers started creating 3-ingredient, pantry-friendly recipes for the whole family, new InstantPot recipes and single serving desserts to reduce handling as people began to visit with small groups of family and friends again.

large part of peanut promotions include on-site events with sampling opportunities. All of those type of events came to a screeching halt in March, during National Peanut Month. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued through the spring, summer and now the fall, peanut organizations found new ways to continue promotion of peanuts and increase consumption. In 2020, the National Peanut Board kicked off their Spreading Good Campaign. Activations of the campaign were planned out months in advance but had to be reimagined to exclusively online during the pandemic. “The final waves of programming tap into consumer trends such as the increased interest in baking at home, creating excitement about peanuts and baseball and tapping into a fun, emerging augmented reality technology,” says Ryan J. Lepicier, senior vice president and chief marketing officer with the National Peanut Board.


Consumer Shift During the months of the pandemic, consumer attitudes have also shifted. Prior to COVID-19 many Americans relied on


dining out and ready-to-eat foods from the grocery stores quite a bit. In fact, the average American ate out 4 to 5 times per week. All of that came to a halt when restaurants were forced to close their doors. While many restaurants were able to pivot to curbside takeout and delivery services, it took some time for that to happen depending on the differing rules around COVID shutdowns in different states. “Many people were looking for affordable and easy meal planning as grocery store shelves were bare and people were limiting the number of times they went out,” says Leslie Wagner, executive director of Southern Peanut Growers. Conversations about peanut butter also increased on social media during the pandemic. According to Lepicier, he saw a more than 50 percent increase in social media conversations about peanut butter. “This makes sense since consumers began stockpiling food and cooking at home as lockdowns went into place in mid-March,” Lepicier says. “In fact, March peanut butter sales were up 75% over March 2019, not surprising considering the panic buying.”

Southeastern Peanut Farmer October/November 2020

Education Another aspect of promoting peanuts includes continued education on the nutritional and healthy attributes of peanuts and peanut butter. Since so many events were canceled, NPB and SPG turned to technology to continue their work with educating health professionals about early introduction of peanuts to prevent peanut allergy. Both organizations have been participating in virtual trade shows and advertised in professional publications and newsletters. In June, NPB partnered with the Egg Nutrition Center to host a virtual seminar, “LEAPing Past Food Allergies,” featuring NPB’s own allergy expert, dietitian Sherry Coleman Collins and Dr. Gideon Lack, the lead investigator of the groundbreaking LEAP study. More than 1,100 health professionals attended and received continuing education credits. In foodservice outreach, NPB partnered with The Peanut Institute to bring school nutrition professionals innovative approaches to meal delivery and best practices to provide meals to students during a pandemic. “While many places such as restaurants and schools were shut down, our peanut messaging was no less important,” Wagner says. “We were forced to explore and embrace new methods of outreach from virtual exhibits, social media promotions and special email sponsorships to deliver our information.” t BY JOY CROSBY


Connecting consumers to the farm yan Jenkins of Jay, Florida, is a farmer with a vision. A vision to reach consumers and connect them to the family farm. He connects with them through factual and unique stories, photos and video on social media. Jenkins is a peanut, cotton, corn, wheat and oat farmer. He uses social media platforms to educate consumers on how and where their food and fiber comes from, the process in which it gets to them and tells the stories of the real American farmers who produce it. His story is unique. Before he began farming full-time, he worked for years with EMS and life flight. Living near the Pensacola area, he has many friends he calls “city friends” who are curious about farming. He recalls, “they would always ask me questions about what I did on the farm during my days off from EMS.” Fast forward to 2016, when Jenkins participated in the Peanut Leadership Academy. During one of the leadership sessions, a speaker discussed how farmers need to tell their story more to connect with consumers. That’s when it clicked for Jenkins and he realized he needed to tell his story. “You better tell your story or



Ryan Jenkins, Jay, Fla., records a video while using GPS to drive his tractor. Jenkins strives to connect consumers to the farm through the use of video, drones and social media.

someone else will, really resonated with me,” Jenkins say. “I’ve fallen in love with explaining to people and really educating people on what we do on the farm and why we do it.” Jenkins has several motives for sharing his story including his love for agriculture. “One, I love what I do and when you love something you want to show everyone else,” Jenkins says. “You have pride in it.” According to Jenkins, he hopes to

Southeastern Peanut Farmer October/November 2020

connect the consumer with a farmer. “I want consumers to understand that at the end of the line there is a family they are helping out when they buy food or other products,” he says. “This is a person, not a big corporation, when they buy their peanut M&M’s or Hanes t-shirts.” He hopes that if consumers make the connection to the farm then they will be more comfortable in the products they are buying and hopefully want to buy more to help farmers out.

He started a YouTube channel in 2019 that features videos of his farm’s production geared directly to the consumer. Since creating his channel, Jenkins has published more than 25 videos on peanut, cotton and oat harvest and production. “In the past, it would take a film or news crew and now we can shoot the video with our phones and put it on social media for thousands of people to see,” Jenkins says. The videos explain some of the basics on how the crops grow but also cover how farmers prepare for hurricanes, the view from a tractor cab as the farmer is moving equipment, general equipment maintenance and more. Jenkins published a farm safety video in the spring and fall of 2020 to educate consumers about sharing the roads with farmers. “I wanted to show consumers what it is like from the farmer’s perspective and view from inside the cab of the tractor,” he says. “Who knows, you might even save a life. And even if you don’t save a life, you have opened up a dialogue with people. You have made it where they might want to ask you questions. They see that you are interested in helping the public understand what is happening on the farm.” Jenkins was one of two producers to be chosen by Progressive Farmer magazine to be featured in its “View from the Cab” spotlight. He is the first peanut farmer to be selected. Through the spotlight, he is even able to educate other farmers about crops grown in the Southeast and specific issues Southeastern farmers may face. Jenkins is also passionate about connecting youth to agriculture and career opportunities in agriculture. “I feel like it is our responsibility as much as possible to connect the youth with agriculture,” Jenkins says. “It takes a special person to be a farmer. I do feel like if you were not born into farming then it is hard to get started. So, I want to show the kids that there are thousands of opportunities in agriculture that do not include driving the tractor or owning a farm.” To connect youth to agriculture, Jenkins Farm held an Ag Career Day this past year. The event featured 17 presenters including farmers, truck drivers, welders, ag lenders, researchers from the University of Florida and more. The event helped to show kids the college prepared jobs and non-college prepared jobs connected to agriculture. Jenkins has also presented information at a virtual Florida Farm Bureau event where he discussed how to reach consumers through his social media efforts on the farm. Recently, Jenkins was named the Florida Farm Bureau’s 2020 Volunteer Communicator of the Year. Jenkins is a strong and passionate voice for agriculture and an outstanding representative to connect consumers to the farm. According to Jenkins, there is so much bad news and untrue news in the world concerning agriculture. “I think it is important for consumers to see exactly how advanced we are in agriculture – the technology we use on the farm and how we use it to be a better steward of the land as far as doing more with less inputs,” Jenkins says. “I believe the reason some people are believing some of the things they do concerning agriculture is because the general public is too far removed from the farm. So, I feel like it is our job as farmers to tell our story and let consumers see what really happens on the farm.” t

Above: Jenkins Farm is a family operation that includes (left to right) Rennie, Ryan, Cole and Chase Jenkins. Right: Ryan Jenkins tries to incorporate consumer friendly items in his social media posts by showing Peanut M&M’s inside a peanut shell.

BY JOY CROSBY October/November 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Virtual Field Days Offer Online Learning eing able to stand in research plots and hear first hand from scientists are normal events for farmers to attend in the months of July through September. The reports provide farmers with the latest information they need to make decisions for their farming operation. All of those in-field events took a virtual spin this year with many universities and the Sunbelt Ag Expo offering online video opportunities. The 2020 Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day was held July 23, and farmers were able to learn practical information from the region’s top agricultural scientists about the newest technologies farmers can use to improve their operations. Attendees were able to drive through the Darrell Williams Research Farm and watch videos from university researchers and vendors. Farmers were allowed to pull aside at stops that particularly spark their interest to further investigate plots and visit one-onone with the researchers. “We have the unique ability to work with university and corporate researchers on our Darrell Williams Research Farm, where we continue to conduct cotton, peanut, corn, soybean and forage research — all aimed at improving the farmer’s bottom line,” says Chip Blalock, Sunbelt Ag Expo executive director. “This year, we presented the research being conducted in a different format. We are encouraged that those individuals and companies


Steve Li, Auburn University weed scientist, talks to farmers through social distancing at the 2020 Wiregrass Research and Extension Center’s Wiregrass Weed Tour in Headland, Ala., on Aug. 13.

conducting that research are working with us to overcome the challenges that have been presented.” In August, farmers in East Georgia were able to learn more through the virtual field day at the University of Georgia Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center in Midville, Ga. Research at the Midville center is geared to the needs of farmers in east Georgia due to growing conditions that are much different than those that producers experience in other parts of the state. Additionally in August, Alabama farmers were able to learn more from the Wiregrass Weed Tour at the Wiregrass

Educational Videos Sunbelt Ag Expo Field Day Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center (Midville) Field Day Georgia Cotton & Peanut Virtual Field Day Florida Santa Rosa County Peanut Variety Demonstration Tour Wiregrass Research & Extension Center Virtual Field Day (Click on Growers and Industry Research for a link to the videos.) Also, follow the Wiregrass Research & Extension Center on Facebook for additional videos.


Southeastern Peanut Farmer October/November 2020

Research and Extension Center (WREC) in Headland, Alabama. Attendees parked in the field and listened to the presenters by tuning to an FM frequency. The presentations are also available online through the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center Facebook page. The staff at WREC facilitated social distancing guidelines during the tour, and attendees said they appreciated the new approach. Additionally, farmers in Georgia were able to learn more about peanut and cotton management through the University of Georgia Cotton and Peanut Virtual Field Day. The event, sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission and Georgia Cotton Commission, included video presentations focusing on variety development, weed, disease and insect management with peanuts and cotton. Late last year and through early 2020, University of Florida faculty involved with peanut related research and extension efforts met to form the Florida Peanut Team. Among the goals of the team are to provide research-based solutions to peanut farmers and to provide hands-on training for county extension faculty as they work with Florida peanut farmers. COVID-19 caused cancellation of the in-person training and field day events that were planned in Florida, but the team has developed a website to provide an assembly of peanut production information from planting through harvest. t


No Easy Fix for 2020 Peanut Efficiency Winners eanut farmers have no panaceas available to assure top yields and high grades. The best ones, including the four 2020 Farm Press Peanut Efficiency Award (PEA) winners, follow finely tuned production systems tailored to specific growing conditions. The 2020 winners are: Kirk Jones, Upper Southeastern states; Joe Mullek and sons Tim, Michael, and Mark, Lower Southeastern states; father and son, Glen and Aaron Martin, Southwest; and Van Hensarling, Mid-South. Two of this year’s winners grow only or mostly dryland peanuts; one carefully manages limited water resources; one depends on season-long timeliness to improve his odds. They all practice sustainable production practices and take advantage of every system available to improve production efficiency. Keys for these outstanding growers include: timing, variety selection, rotation, conservation, water management, pest control, fertility and harvest efficiency. Here is a quick look at some of the 2020 winners’ keys to productivity.


Kirk Jones Windsor, Virginia

Upper Southeast Kirk Jones, Windsor, Virginia, says timeliness is key. It’s a lesson he learned from his grandfather James Wilson “Buddy” Jones and his father James


Wilson Jones Jr. “Time is the main thing,” he says. “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Get your peanuts planted on time. Make timely applications of fungicides or anything else that needs to be done.” The timeliness approach works. The family historically has made yields approaching 4,500 pounds per acre and surpassing 5,000 pounds in good years. The family farms 1,700 acres of both owned and rented land, producing cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and cattle in Virginia’s Isle of Wight County. Peanuts are Kirk’s favorite crop, his passion. They planted Bailey, Virginia-type peanuts, on all 390 peanut acres this year. Bailey has been the family’s go-to variety for the past few years. “I like the way Bailey yields. I like the rankness of the vines because I feed the vines to my cows,” Kirk says. J.W. and Kirk use a three to four-year rotation and like to stretch their rotation to four years when they can.

Lower Southeast Two decades ago, the Mulleks started growing peanuts in Baldwin County, Alabama, one of first in the area. Their farm remains somewhat unusual. Tim, 50, Joe Mullek’s oldest son, farms in partnership with brothers Michael, 44, and Mark, 43, in Summerdale, 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. They produce sustainable, highyielding peanuts. They farm 3,000 acres, a third in peanuts, 60 percent in Georgia-12Y, 20 percent Georgia-06G and 20 percent FloRunTM ‘331’. The Georgia-12Y offers higher yields and better disease tolerance. Most peanut producers in the area plant Georgia-06G. They plant cotton on two-thirds of

Southeastern Peanut Farmer October/November 2020

Mark, Tim and Michael Mullek Summerdale, Alabama their acreage on a three-year rotation with peanuts. They plant wheat after peanuts, followed by two years of cotton; they get four money crops out of the rotation. They don’t irrigate. Their production system centers heavily on a sustainable, no-till approach. Except for the peanut digger breaking a third of the land every third year, the soil goes unbroken. Soil is a silent employee, working for them and taming some variables that can stress an operation and its owners. In 2019, they averaged 4,852.5 pounds per acre with exceptional grades and average selling prices of $425 per ton. Their 2020 wheat averaged 60 bushels and 2019 cotton averaged two bales.

Southwest Region Father and son, Glen and Aaron Martin, say water is key to producing high peanut yields on the sandy soils near Wellman, Texas. “We’ve cut back on the number of acres of peanuts we grow, so we’re not trying to plant more acres than we can water but keep enough water to make yields,” Glen says. Glen and Aaron, through A&G Farms partnership, grow Georgia-09B, a runner-

Aaron and Glen Martin Wellman, Texas type variety. In 2019, they averaged 5,619 pounds per acre and 5,697 pounds in 2018 at $475 per ton. Maintaining plant health is also essential, including crop rotation and use of pre-emergent herbicides and inoculants. One of the chemicals in their arsenal is Velum nematicide. “We’ve started using Velum on every acre of peanuts. It keeps the vines healthy in the fall when we start having disease or weather issues that could make them crash,” Glen says. “It’s expensive, but it’s worth it.” Glen and Aaron also credit their crop consultant Mark Scott, their wives and their employees for their success. “We couldn’t do any of this without good employees,” Aaron says. Glen and Aaron, generational peanut farmers, proud PEA winners, follow dad and grandad James Martin, the first PEA winner for the Southwest in 2000.

Hensarling has grown peanuts for 23 years on his south Mississippi farm. He farmed with his dad while still in high school, using his dad's equipment but making his own crops. He farmed leased land on his own after high school and bought his first farm in 1981, raising soybeans and wheat. “I enjoy growing peanuts,” Hensarling says. “I started during the quota system. I transitioned from soybeans and wheat to 100 percent cotton in 1995 and 1996. I added peanuts in 1997. I had to gear up for peanuts. Fortunately, I had an understanding banker.” He farms with his wife, Anita, and sons, Jerid, 40, and Brad, 37. Hensarling embraces efficiency,

including producing all but 75 of his 800-acre peanut crop without irrigation. “To make yields, we have to look at every aspect—rotation, fertility, weed control, fungicides, and harvest efficiency. We have to map out all production areas. There is no one silver bullet in it.” He averaged 5,411 pounds on 725 dryland and 6,500 pounds on 75 acres of irrigated peanuts in 2019. The four winners, were to be honored July 18 at the Southern Peanut Growers annual conference in Panama City Beach, Florida. The conference was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the 2020 winners will be recognized at the 2021 conference. t ARTICLE PROVIDED BY FARM PRESS

Van Hensarling Richton, Mississippi

Mid-South “If it weren’t for peanuts, I probably would not be farming,” says Van Hensarling, Richton, Mississippi. “Peanuts are about the only crop that makes money.” October/November 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


R-E-S-P-E-C-T Photo credit: Mary Jane Buerkle, Plains Cotton Growers

Smith retires after 40 years of top-notch writing

Ron Smith recently retired after 40 years at Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Delta Farm Press. According to Smith, farming has changed a lot in 40 years but the farmer’s resiliency, the love for what he does, his faith and his commitment to making the land better has not changed.

eck yeah, Ron Smith is a top-notch writer. One of his co-workers described him as the Nolan Ryan, Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan of ag writers. After 40 years at Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press and Delta Farm Press, though, it’s his respect and passion for his subjects that shine through. “Farmers work miracles every day. They do things with seed and soil, sun and water, that make it possible for the rest of us to survive,” says Smith, who retired in August. “Over the years, Ron has always talked about producers being the foundation of agriculture and he was very passionate about helping them. That’s what he did with his writing,”



says Marshall Lamb, director of the National Peanut Research Lab. While Smith wrote about everything from avocadoes to zucchini, with a few hogs and cattle thrown in, cotton and peanuts were his favourite subjects. Once again, it comes down to respect. “They require so much management. You can’t just plant them and leave.” For a man who was passionate about his subjects, however, his career was not planned. “In high school, I didn’t even know my job existed. My long-term goal was to teach English and coach baseball.” After graduating from Lander University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Smith ended up at a weekly newspaper for three years, then went to Clemson University for his masters degree. At that point he upgraded his goal to teaching Shakespeare at a junior college. “Instead, I ended up doing interviews bouncing over terraces in a fertilizer spreader truck,” Smith says. “Only God could decipher my notes when I’d get through, but He probably wasn’t that interested.” The bridge between Shakespeare and a spreader truck was a temporary editor’s job at a Clemson experiment station, followed by an ag editor’s position in Clemson’s extension service. After those two ag warm-ups, he went to work for Southeast Farm Press in June 1978 and moved to Atlanta. “Everything good in my life happened because I was in Atlanta and worked for Southeast Farm Press,” Smith says. That includes meeting his bride of 40 years, Pat, who was teaching school in Auburn when an Auburn University friend set them up. Most of their courting was done over the phone. “I had a hefty phone bill but it was a good investment,” he notes. Smith says the years spent with

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Southeast, Southwest and Delta Farm Press were also sound investments. “The best part was talking to farmers. I’d get out on their farm, sit at their kitchen table, they’d tell me about their farm, then we’d hop in their pickup truck and they’d show me a field, or how they’d solved a drainage problem or new technology they were using. They all treated me like royalty. Almost every time I left a farm, I felt like I had made a new friend,” he says. Smith is in awe of the changes that took place during those 40 years. “The technology - when I first started, tractors were relatively small. Nobody used computers. Nobody could have imagined variable rate technology and auto steer tractors,” Smith says. “The varieties are so much better. In 1980, two bales of cotton an acre was a big yield. Now, four bales is pretty common.” Ditto with peanuts. “Now, it is not at all uncommon to see 5,000 lb. an acre yields.” “There are a whole lot fewer farmers, farms are bigger and more efficient,” he continues. “The risks are so much greater. What hasn’t changed is the farmer’s resiliency, the love for what he does, his faith, and his commitment to making the land better.” Now, rather than having a full-time front seat in agriculture, Smith is hiking to waterfalls around his Johnson City, Tennessee, home, casting flies in mountain streams, cheering on his three grandsons, or maybe writing another novel, (his first, Passing Through, can be found on Amazon). The respect and passion are still there, though. He is carving out time to free-lance for the Farm Press publications, plus, he’s already looking for an excuse to go to next year’s peanut show. He’s quick to say, “I already miss the people.” t BY BECKY MILLS

Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference set for Jan. 20 - 21 roducers can fine-tune their farming operation with information gained at the 45th annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference, held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in January. The event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 21, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Peanut farmers and those involved in the peanut industry will be able to learn more about the latest products, services and peanut research at the 2021 Georgia Peanut Farm Show and Conference. The show is sponsored and coordinated by the Georgia Peanut Commission. The two-day show offers farmers the opportunity to view the products and services of more than 100 exhibitors and continuing education for the 2021 production season. The Georgia Peanut Farm Show Committee decided to transition to the two day format for 2021 to allow more room for social distancing. The University of Georgia will present an educational peanut production seminar on Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday morning from 9:00 until 10:30 a.m. An industry seed seminar will also be held Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning from 10:35 to 11:35 a.m. This event is sponsored by the American Peanut Shellers Association Committee on Variety & Seed Development, Peanut


NEW FORMAT - TWO DAYS Peanut farmers and those involved in the peanut industry will be able to learn more about the latest products, services and peanut research at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show set for Jan. 20-21, 2021, at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.

Foundation, Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and the Georgia Peanut Commission. Growers will be able to learn about farm-saved seed, peanut varieties available for 2021 and varieties on the horizon. Farmers will also have the opportunity to earn credit toward their private or commercial pesticide applicator certification. On Thursday, a free luncheon begins at noon for all attendees, with an opportunity for farmers to win more than

$40,000 in door prizes afterward. The Georgia Peanut Commission will present a short program beginning at 12:15 p.m. that will cover award presentations and other special recognitions. The Georgia Peanut Commission, in cooperation with One Blood, will hold a blood drive from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center during the show on Thursday. For more information on the show, contact GPC at 229-386-3470 or online at t

Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award Nominations Due Dec. 1 Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer. The state winner will be announced during the Georgia Peanut Farm Show on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tifton, Georgia. The award is sponsored by the Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) and BASF. The Outstanding Georgia Young Peanut Farmer Award is based upon the applicant’s overall farm operation; environmental and stewardship practices; and leadership, civic, church, and


community service activities. “We have so many young peanut farmers making a difference in their communities and I consider this awards program a great opportunity to recognize one young peanut farmer for their contributions to the agricultural industry,” says Armond Morris, GPC chairman. The award is open for any active Georgia peanut farmer who is not over 45 years of age, as of Jan. 21, 2020. An individual may receive the award only once. There is no limit on the number of

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applicants from each county in Georgia. Applications are due to the GPC office by Dec. 1, 2020. The application is available on the GPC website at or by calling the GPC office at 229-386-3470. The award winner receives registration and hotel accommodations to attend the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in July 15-17, 2021, at the Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, Florida, and a sign to display at his or her farm. t

Georgia Peanut Achievement Club Announces High Yield Farmers ourteen farmers were recently announced by the University of Georgia Peanut Team for their high yielding peanuts in 2019. The high yields ranged from 4,540 to 7,285 pounds per acre. According to Steve Newberry of Louisville, Georgia, timing and paying attention to details are the two things that helped him and his sons, Robert and Daniel, achieve the highest yield across the state of Georgia in 2019. Their 2019 yield topped the state at 7,285 pounds per acre. “Many of the state winners combine their management practices of crop rotation and critical timing of applications to reach these high yields,” says Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist. “The yields are counted for the entire farm, irrigated or dryland; and they continue to increase year after year.” A good three to four-year rotation is a common practice touted by the University of Georgia Peanut Team as being beneficial for peanuts. The Newberry family can agree to the benefits on their farm. Their peanut acreage in 2019 was planted in a field that never had peanuts grown on it before. The land had timber for many years and was recently cleared for crop land. The Newberry family planted two years of cotton before planting peanuts in 2019. They also installed irrigation on the land. “I give credit to my sons for paying attention to the details and staying on time with fungicide and pesticide applications and irrigation,” Steve says. “They do what needs to be done when it needs doing and that’s the reason, we resulted with the kind of yield we did.” Steve also gives credit for the assistance they receive from their local county Extension agent, Pam Sapp, and the research funding from the Georgia Peanut Commission. “We are constantly receiving messages from Pam about new issues to



The 2019 Georgia Peanut Achievement Club overall state winner is Newberry Farms in Louisville, Ga. Pictured left to right: Robert, Steve and Daniel Newberry credit their rotation, application timing and attention to detail, which helped them achieve the highest state yield for peanuts in 2019.

look out for or when it is time to pull soil samples or check for nematodes,” Steve says. “That’s part of the whole picture - to know and remember those details and take care of those things when they need to be done.” He adds, when you put it all together, along with the research, you end up with a good result. “The research allows us to do better and have better varieties to grow. There’s no way we could achieve the yields that farmers are getting today with peanuts without research funding.” The 2020 crop is looking really good so far for the Newberry family and Steve hopes for decent weather for harvest. The 2019 Georgia Peanut Achievement Club overall state winners are Steve Newberry, Jefferson County with 7,285 pounds per acre in the 100-299 acreage category; Scott Moore, Dooly County with 6,717 pounds per acre in the 300-699 acreage category and 4 Miller Farms, Seminole County with 7,066 pounds per acre in the 700-plus acreage category. The District 1 winners are Hillside Farms (Mike Newberry), Early County, with 7,002 pounds per acre in the 100-299

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category and Bob McLendon, Calhoun County, with 5,693 pounds per acre in the 700-plus acreage category.  The District 2 winners are John Gaines Jr., Baker County with 6,891 pounds per acre in the 100-299 acreage category; Jeff Williams, Miller County, with 5,888 pounds per acre in the 300-699 acreage category and Parker Heard, Decatur County, with 6,292 pounds per acre in the 700-plus acreage category. The District 3 winners are Larry Ray Walker, Ben Hill County with 5,740 pounds per acre in the 100-299 acreage category; James Hitchcock, Washington County, with 6,374 pounds per acre in the 300-699 acreage category and Ken Hall Farms, Worth County, with 5,540 pounds per acre in the 700-plus acreage category. The District 4 winners are Brenda Reeves, Irwin County, with 7,045 pounds per acre in the 100-299 acreage category; Andrew Grimes, Tift County, with 6,016 pounds per acre in the 300-699 acreage category and Nellwood Farms, Bulloch County with 4,540 pounds per acre in the 700-plus acreage category. t BY JOY CROSBY

New Staff Join Georgia Peanut Commission and Alabama Peanut Producers Association wo new staff have joined the peanut organizations in Georgia and Alabama. Bryan Tucker joined the Georgia Peanut Commission staff in August as project coordinator for farm and field services. In this role, he will be responsible for education programs for farmers as well as working with agriculture organizations and Bryan Tucker Abby Himburg promotions across the state. “I’m really looking forward to Degree. meeting more farmers and being able to Through the years, Tucker has work for them to continue to help grow worked on his family farm and most the future of peanuts here in Georgia,” recently as a business customer service Tucker says. technology instructor with Wiregrass Tucker was raised on his family farm Georgia Technical College. in Ocilla, Georgia, and graduated from Tucker can be reached by email at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College or phone, 229and the University of Georgia with a 386-3999. bacelor of science in agriculture business. Abby Himburg joined the Alabama He has been active with the Georgia Peanut Producers Association in Young Farmers Association and Georgia September as the communications Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Program. coordinator. Her project priorities will be Through high school and college, Tucker print and digital publications. was an active member of FFA, receiving Born and raised in Ariton, Alabama, many state awards and the American FFA


Himburg holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Auburn University. While at Auburn, she was actively involved in Collegiate FFA and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. A graduate of Ariton High school, she served as the 2013 Alabama State FFA Treasurer. Most recently, she held the position of social media marketing assistant manager for SunSouth LLC. During her time at SunSouth she managed the re-design of the company website and launched a series of customer testimonials spotlighted across various social media channels. Growing up, no trip to town was complete without a stop at her favorite roadside stand for boiled peanuts. Himburg is looking forward to jumping right in and helping tell the story of peanuts and the hardworking farmers that produce them. Himburg can be reached by email at or phone, 334-7926482. t

Alabama Peanut Check-off Wins 95% Approval in Referendum labama peanut farmers voted to continue the current assessment on peanuts that is collected by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and administered by the Alabama Peanut Producers Association (APPA). In a referendum conducted on July 23, 2020, ninety-five percent of those who voted said “yes” to continuing APPA’s programs in education, promotion and research. For the continuance referendum to pass, a majority of eligible producers voting needed to vote in favor of continuing the assessment. Growers who produced peanuts in 2017, 2018 or 2019 were eligible to vote. “I am proud of the work we do at the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. The check-off funds production research, grower and consumer education, and the



promotion of delicious and nutrientpacked peanuts, peanut butter and other peanut products,” says Carl Sanders, president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and a peanut farmer in Coffee County. “The referendum results are a remarkable endorsement of the work APPA does on behalf of our peanut farmers.” The referendum for peanuts is conducted every three years, which is a requirement of the Alabama Legislature. In the last three years: More than $400,000 has been invested toward peanut production research, in partnership with Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which directly benefits Alabama peanut farmers. This research has contributed to yield increases and more efficient production practices. More than $700,000 has been utilized

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in peanut promotion activities around the state, contributing to increased peanut and peanut butter consumption, and the adoption of the early introduction of peanuts to infants recommendations by more Alabama pediatricians and parents. Peanut allergy education efforts have been included in the promotion activities as well. More than $390,000 has been allocated to grower education to share relevant research results, legislative information and other pertinent information for Alabama growers. This information is dispersed through grower production meetings, APPA website (, quarterly newsletters, social media and emails. The annual Alabama-Florida Peanut Trade Show is supported by these funds as well. t BY KAYE LYNN HATAWAY

urricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores as a Category 2 storm Sept. 16 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. The slowmoving hurricane brought wind and rain across the peanut belt. Farms experienced flooding and some collected more than 24 inches of rain over Southern Mississippi, Southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Wind also caused damage to barns, irrigation, equipment and more. A concrete irrigation pivot foundation was ripped from the soil at Mark Kaiser’s farm in Seminole. “This storm just caught everyone off guard,” says Kaiser, Alabama Peanut Producers Association board member. “We knew once it slowed like that we were in trouble. There’s a certain amount of prep you can do but only so much time.” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue took a tour of crop damage from Hurricane Sally in Alabama and Florida recently.


“What I’ve seen is crops that have probably been cut in half,” said Sec. Perdue. “Cotton that was virtually ready to be harvested, peanuts that were ready to be harvested down to half a crop. And there’s not that kind of margin in agriculture.” Ken Barton, executive director of Florida Peanut Producers Association, is very appreciative of Sec. Perdue’s visit. “Peanuts are really taking a hit. We are behind with digging and harvesting process. Every day the soils don’t dry out, we are losing yield and quality,” Barton says. “Peanut farmers are extremely resilient, just like all farmers are. For the most part, there is a good peanut crop out there, but we hope and pray that we can harvest it. We are honored to have Sec. Perdue here with us today to learn more about the loss farmers are facing.” The Alabama Farmers Federation has established a relief fund to help farmers from across the state whose farms were damaged by Hurricane Sally. Donations collected through the relief fund will go toward farmer losses not covered by a

Photo credit: Alabama Farmers Federation.

Hurricane Sally Damages Crops in Alabama and Florida

Equipment shed damage from Hurricane Sally at Bitto Farms in Elberta, Alabama.

farmowner policy, crop insurance or disaster relief programs. Donations are tax deductible and may be made at or by check payable to Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation at P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL 36191. Please include “hurricane relief fund” in the check memo line. Farmers are encouraged to visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster assistance programs website online at t

Registration Open for Hurricane Michael Timber and Irrigation Recovery Block Grant Programs in Florida lorida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service recently announced that registration for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program and the Florida Irrigation Recovery Block Grant Program is now available to agricultural producers and forest landowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program is managed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Florida Forest Service (FFS), which will provide technical assistance to forest landowners required to produce documentation to receive compensation for their loss. “It’s been nearly two years since Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle as one of America’s worst-ever storms,” Commissioner Fried says. “As



we enter the next phase of securing relief for producers and landowners, I am more confident than ever in the future of Florida’s forest industry as we work together to get trees back in the ground. Thank you to Secretary Perdue for keeping Florida’s $25 billion timber industry at the forefront of recovery efforts.” Program Eligibility To be eligible for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program (TRBG), a producer must: l Be the owner of record or the lessee who has rights to the timber crop at the time of application of a minimum of 10 contiguous acres of nonindustrial private forest land located in one of the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington l Have stands of timber that

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sustained a minimum of 25 percent loss due to Hurricane Michael To learn more and register for the TRBG, visit To be eligible for the Florida Irrigation Recovery Block Grant Program (IRBG), a producer must: l Be the owner of record of center pivot irrigation infrastructure at the time of application and document that the crop growing under the center pivot as of October 10, 2018, sustained a minimum 15 percent crop loss due to Hurricane Michael l To learn more and register for the IRBG, visit Registration is the first step toward receiving block grant funds, and should only take a few minutes to complete. The deadline to register for these programs is Friday, November 20. The state block grants are part of a broader $3 billion disaster relief package to help producers recover from 2018 and 2019 natural disasters. t

The Peanut Institute Foundation Funds New Peanut Nutrition Research he Peanut Institute Foundation is unveiling four new research projects for 2020-21. TPIF received proposals for forty projects this year from twenty states and four countries. Dr. Daniel Rosenberg at the University of Connecticut will investigate the daily consumption of 2 ounces of peanuts in 50 participants, ages 50-65 years, over three weeks. The primary aim is to look at changes in colon polyps, which are early signs of colon cancer risk. Preliminary results from this lab indicate a significant reduction of colon polyps with increased peanut consumption. This will be the first known human clinical study in the area of peanut consumption and colorectal cancer that can identify colon cell changes. Dr. Sheau Ching Chai at the University of Delaware will examine the daily intake of two ounces of peanuts over three months in participants aged 60 and over. The aim is to measure cognition before and after the study to identify changes in cognition and memory. The study will also measure endothelial function by examining flow-mediated dilation (FMD). This measurement will add to the body of evidence by supporting peanut consumption to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Research that highlights mechanisms is essential for influencing federal policies. Dr. Jennifer Keogh at the University of South Australia will be conducting a 6-month study looking at peanut/peanut butter consumption and weight, satiety, fasting blood glucose, and glucose tolerance in adults 18 years and older. This research fills a gap, not only in type-2 diabetes research (long-term glucose control) but also in long-term weight


management. Specifically, the study aims to identify if eating peanuts and peanut butter long-term can lead to weight loss. From both a consumer and a policy perspective, both of these areas of research are needed. The fourth new research project for 2020-21 will be conducted by Dr. Michael Roberts of Auburn University. This 10-week study will examine the relationship between peanut powder use and muscle quality and growth in 40 college-aged individuals. Preliminary data from this lab showed muscle improvement (increased muscle thickness and 30% greater protein synthesis) in older individuals. No research of this kind has been done in a younger population who tend to be interested in plant-based protein powders for fitness. In addition to these four fully funded research projects, the TPI Foundation Scholars Award Program was implemented in 2020. Our goal is to provide partial funding to support peanut projects that allow us to keep our research network active, encourage more peanut

The Peanut Institute Foundation 2020-21 New Research Projects Colon Cancer


UCONN - Dr. Daniel Rosenberg First known human clinical study to look at changes in colon polyps through the microbiome with peanuts.

Dr. Sheau Ching Chai - University of Delaware Learning, memory, executive function, etc. will also measure endothelial function.

Weight & Diabetes


Dr. Jennifer Keogh - University of South Australia Can eating peanuts and peanut butter long-term can lead to weight loss and diabetes control?

Dr. Michael Roberts - Auburn University Peanut powder and muscle development in college-aged individuals.


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research for consumer messaging and to maximize our resources. This year’s TPIF Scholar recipients will research three different projects. Russell Sage College will look at peanut and peanut butter consumption and cognition in reviewing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. This research will be significant for the Dietary Guidelines 2025. The University of Barcelona will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on global peanut/peanut butter consumption and longevity. The University of Wisconsin-Madison will look at peanut skin formula as a treatment for Crohn’s Disease. These projects will offer promising looks into new areas of peanut nutrition research. These new projects are all in addition to current ongoing research projects that were previously funded. Earlier funded projects focused on studying peanut consumption in individuals with pre-diabetes, nut and peanut consumption associated with long-term weight change and use of peanut powder for muscle growth and quality. TPIF anticipates the publishing of these studies in the coming months and sharing results with the peanut industry and the world. For additional information visit None of this research would be possible without support from all segments of the peanut industry. t ARTICLE PROVIDED BY THE PEANUT INSTITUTE

Washington Outlook by Robert L. Redding Jr.

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Update

Growers Support CCC Funding

Although the U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of the fifth COVID-19 Economic Stimulus legislation, the HEROES Act, the U.S. Senate has not reached agreement on their package to date. Senate Republicans have proposed two “skinny” or less costly versions of their economic stimulus initiatives. Both of these have been rejected by Senate Democrats. Proposals have included $20 billion in additional funds for agriculture. Legislation currently being considered includes agricultural processors, in addition to growers, as part of the economic assistance program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is preparing to release a new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) which should include a revised CFAP program or CFAP 2.0. It is anticipated that the new program will be streamlined and more inclusive as to commodities.

Growers have been concerned about the resources for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The U.S. Peanut Federation joined other agricultural organizations in a letter to House and Senate leaders requesting that Congress reimburse CCC for funds that have been spent to assist American Agriculture. The full text of the letter dated Sept. 15, 2020, is below.

House Approves Peanut Aflatoxin Research Project The U.S. Peanut Federation (USPF), association comprised of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, American Peanut Shellers Association and the National Peanut Buying Points Association, had proposed a USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) project at the ARS Dawson Peanut Lab in cooperation with Fort Valley State University earlier this year. U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, chairman of the Subcommittee on Agricultural Appropriations, asked that the Committee include $1.5 million for peanut aflatoxin research. The Committee accepted Congressman Bishop’s proposal and these funds have been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. Peanut Research—The Committee provides an additional $1,500,000 above the fiscal year 2020 level to support research activities to mitigate aflatoxin contamination in peanuts. The Committee directs ARS to enhance ongoing collaborations with land grant institutions to further advance research efforts. The U.S. Senate has not taken up their version of the Fiscal Year 2021 Agricultural Appropriations bill as of yet. It is anticipated that Congress will move a Continuing Resolution prior to October 1, 2020, in order to keep the government funded then address the Fiscal Year 2021 legislation after the election.

Peanut Industry Continues EU Aflatoxin Regulation Efforts The U.S. Peanut Federation is pursuing a resolution to aflatoxin policy concerns relative to the European Union. USPF has met numerous times with USDA and consulted with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative about the increase in EU rejections of U.S. peanuts at ports. The USPF will update the industry as this issue moves forward.


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Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer and Leader McCarthy, As Congress assembles a continuing resolution to extend government funding, we respectfully ask that you provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the resources necessary to continue assisting American farmers and ranchers. To that end, reimbursement for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) must be included in any measure to keep government operating past the current fiscal year. For decades, CCC has been regularly replenished to fund programs integral to the farm safety net that Congress has worked tirelessly to craft. Producers count on programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Dairy Margin Coverage, Marketing Assistance Loans, conservation programs, and many others as they provide food, fuel and fiber for our nation. Without immediate CCC reimbursement, payments and programs would be significantly delayed, jeopardizing operations across the country. More than ever, farmers and ranchers need the certainty and support provided by farm programs. Low commodity prices, unjustified retaliatory tariffs, natural disasters, and a global pandemic have placed a tremendous burden on farm country. USDA’s most recent farm income projections forecast that cash receipts will be at their lowest level in more than a decade. Coupled with rising farm debt and a decrease in working capital, producers face challenges not experienced in decades. As the industry continues to endure hardships during this unprecedented time, we urge you to include CCC reimbursement in a continuing resolution. Thank you for your consideration and continued efforts on behalf of American agriculture.

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020. “America’s agriculture communities are resilient, but still face many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump is once again demonstrating his commitment to ensure America’s farmers and ranchers remain in business to produce the food, fuel, and fiber America needs to thrive,” said Secretary Perdue. “We listened to feedback received from farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations about the impact of the pandemic on our nations’ farms and ranches, and we developed a program to better meet the needs of those impacted.”


Background: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs. CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 1) the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 2) the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used. Flat-rate Crops Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others. Sales Commodities Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted

by the pandemic since April 2020, then farmers are encouraged to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on Eligibility There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2. Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions. Applying for Assistance Producers can apply for assistance beginning Sept. 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 11, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found online at Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated. Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office. More information can be found at t

October/November 2020 Southeastern Peanut Farmer


Southern Peanut Growers Managing Food Allergies in the Culinary School Kitchen When Southern Peanut Growers (SPG) attended the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) last year, one of the common and most concerning questions was about managing peanut allergy in the culinary school kitchen. CAFÉ members teach culinary at all levels from high school to technical schools and junior colleges to four-year universities and many of them reported that they were banning peanuts from their programs whenever a student entered saying they weren’t safe if any peanuts were present. SPG shot a three-part video series at the Art Institute of Atlanta to address

these concerns. Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD, with National Peanut Board, and Chef Desmond Keefe, the culinary school director at Art Institute of Atlanta, were featured on the topics of: 1. Food Allergies 101 2. Managing Food Allergies in the Commercial Kitchen 3. Creating an Environment of Understanding About Food Allergies The final produced videos will be available on the SPG foodservice website along with downloadable information with more facts and research. As part of the original agreement with CAFÉ, SPG will also be able to distribute this

Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD, with the National Peanut Board and Chef Desmond Keefe, culinary school director at Art Institute of Atlanta, record a segment for a new foodservice video on managing peanut allergy in the culinary school kitchen.

information to their full membership since the 2020 annual conference had to be canceled.

Social Media Recipe Partnership Southern Peanut Growers partnered with Chef Desmond Keefe, culinary director at Art Institute of Atlanta, to create a 30-second recipe video for a Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce. Chef Keefe was an executive chef in the

Boston area for many years before moving into Culinary and Hospitality Education full time first at Southern New Hampshire University, then at The University of the Bahamas and finally at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

Chef Keefe demonstrated his Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce on camera and we will edit it to a 30-second social media video. Be sure to follow SPG on Facebook and Instagram to see the video.

Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce Chicken Ingredients & Directions: 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1/2” cubes 2 1/2 Tbsp. thick sweet soy sauce (or hoisin sauce) 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 12-14 small bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes Thread chicken onto skewers. Combine thick soy sauce and butter, then brush on chicken. Grill chicken skewers until done. Peanut Sauce Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. peanut oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 small yellow or white onion, diced 3 birds eye chiles (or 1 small jalapeno) 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) 1 cup full-fat coconut milk 2 ½ Tbsp. Hoisin sauce ½ Tbsp. soy sauce ½ tsp. salt ¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts 1 – 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Peanut Sauce Directions: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chiles and cook for 3 minutes until onion is translucent. Turn heat down to medium, then add peanut butter, coconut milk, thick soy sauce (or hoisin sauce), and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Stir in crushed peanuts and lime juice and simmer for about 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving or to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Garnish with crushed peanuts, lime wedges, and scallions.

Southern Peanut Growers 1025 Sugar Pike Way · Canton, Georgia 30115

Phone: (770) 751-6615


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January 20-21, 2021 Wednesday: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Free farmer lunch Pesticide applicator certification More than 100 Exhibits Door prizes

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For more information contact: Georgia Peanut Commission P.O. Box 967, Tifton GA 31793 Phone: 229-386-3470 Fax: 229-386-3501 Email:

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October/November 2020 - Southeastern Peanut Farmer  

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