National Center for Peanut Competitiveness releases “Preliminary Base Acreage and Payment Yields Decision Calculator”

At the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Panama City, Florida, the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness (NCPC) officially launched the “Preliminary Base Acreage and Payment Yields Decision Calculator.” The annual conference brings growers from across the Southeast for three days of educational sessions focusing on production, research, marketing, industry issues and legislative issues. The calculator was developed by the NCPC after reviewing the text of the 2014 Farm Bill and discussions with Congressional staff involved in the drafting of the bill, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA) personnel. When the USDA-FSA issues the final rules and regulations on base reallocation and yield updating, as well as temporary generic base allocation for a crop year sometime late summer/fall 2014, the spreadsheet will be modified to reflect these changes.

“It is imperative producers begin the process of collecting the necessary data now rather than later. With local office closings and staff cuts in USDA- FSA, local offices will be challenged in providing data on demand and working with the producers at the same level as was seen in the previous two farm bills,” says Dr. Stanley Fletcher, NCPC director. “Documents needed by the producer for this process will include the FSA-156EZ, FSA-578 from 2008-2013 and a document showing proven yields for all of the producer’s 2014 Farm Serial Numbers.”

The NCPC developed the calculator to assist producers in developing farm strategies and decisions based on their individual needs. Grower checkoff funds helped with the development of the decision calculator. For additional questions, contact Stanley Fletcher, NCPC director, at 404-277-2319 or email at smf@uga.edu.

Download Calculator Instructions
Download Preliminary Base Acreage and Payment Yields Decision Calculator

House Agriculture Committee Schedule

July 17, 2014 – Washington, D.C.- Today, the House Agriculture Committee released the date for an upcoming Public Hearing.

Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 2:30 p.m.

 1300 Longworth House Office Building  Washington, D.C.  Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition, Public Hearing

RE: To examine the role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in relation to other Federal assistance programs

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GPC, Washington DC Office

Ag Panel Examines USDA’s Efforts Implementing Reforms in the Farm Bill

Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, held a hearing to examine the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as it implements the new commodity and crop insurance titles of the Agricultural Act of 2014, otherwise known as the farm bill.

Congressman David Scott is the Ranking Member on this committee.

To view more information regarding this hearing including written statements, please click here.

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GPC, Washington DC Office

USDA Announces Loan Rates for 2014-Crop Peanuts

The 2014 Farm Bill established the national loan rate for peanuts at $355 per ton, which is unchanged from the previous farm bill. CCC calculated the price support levels for each peanut type using the same method as last year. CCC uses the national loan rate and five-year average quality factors, along with a three-year simple average weighted production. The rates take effect Aug. 1, 2014, the beginning of the peanut crop year. For an average grade ton of 2014-crop peanuts, loan levels by type are:

Runner-type peanuts $354.86 per ton
Spanish-type peanuts $333.91 per ton
Valencia-type peanuts $357.79 per ton
Virginia-type peanuts $357.79 per ton

CCC applies premiums and discounts for quality factors to compute the loan value for an individual ton of peanuts. The actual loan level depends on the percent of various sizes of kernels in each ton. CCC uses the percentage of sound mature kernels (SMK) and sound splits (SS) to compute the basic loan value of the load. Discounts for other kernels (OK), damaged kernels (DK), foreign materials (FM) and loose shell kernels (LSK) may apply.

For each percent of SMK in a ton of peanuts, plus each percent of SS, the loan levels are:

Runner-type peanuts $4.819 per percent
Spanish-type peanuts $4.795 per percent
Valencia-type peanuts $5.346 per percent
Virginia-type peanuts $4.915 per percent

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GPC, Washington DC Office

Isakson, Chambliss Introduce Bill to Halt EPA Takeover of Water

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., joined 28 other senators in introducing legislation to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating nearly all private and state water in the United States.

The Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014 prevents the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from finalizing their March 2014 proposed rule which would significantly expand federal authority under the Clean Water Act.

To view the press release containing statements from Senator Chamblis and Senator Isakson regarding this legislation, please click here.

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GPC, Washington DC Office

Subcommittee Examines Impact of EPA Water Rule on Agricultural Producers

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 – Today, Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, held a public hearing to review the interpretive rule regarding the applicability of Clean Water Act (CWA) agricultural exemptions.

Five witnesses participated in this hearing.  To read House Agriculture Committee press release regarding this hearing, as well as the witnesses’ testimonies, please click here.

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GPC, Washington, DC Office

Ditch the Rule: Stop EPA from Controlling Our Land and Water

On April 21, 2014, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers released their long-awaited proposed rule to expand the Clean Water Act. This proposed rule is an effort by EPA and the Corps to go around the will of Congress and ignore Supreme Court decisions that have limited federal authority.  If this rule is finalized, essentially any area where any water flows at any time – even if just for a brief period – will be subject to federal regulation.

WE NEED EVERYONE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO EPA

Please take a moment to send a message to EPA, letting them know that this rule is unacceptable. Explain the harmful impacts of the rule, and how it would affect you as a landowner.

EPA is accepting comments on this proposed rule now, and the deadline to submit those comments is July 21, 2014. Comment now

Additional Information:
To read more about Georgia Farm Bureau’s stance on this proposed rule, see this article from the Spring 2014 Issue of our Georgia Neighbors magazine.

To read the proposed rule, please click here.

American Farm Bureau has created this Waters Of The U.S. Toolkit, which provides background on the proposed rule and how things reached this point. For further information, visit American Farm Bureau’s Ditch The Rule website.

USDA Publishes Census of Agriculture State and County Profiles

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) today released new 2012 Census of Agriculture profiles for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and more than 3,000 counties in the nation. The Census, which is conducted only once every 5 years, is the only time that NASS gathers and makes available agriculture data down to the county level for all U.S. counties.

“The state and county profiles provide snapshots of agriculture by highlighting key data from the recently released 2012 Census of Agriculture,” said NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly. “Census information is heavily relied on at the local level and is an excellent resource for anyone searching for data about farmers and agriculture production in their community.”

A variety of data points are included in the profiles to provide a general picture of agriculture in each state and county. Among the information is:

  • Number of farms, land in farms, average size of farm
  • Market value of products sold, average per farm
  • Crop sales, livestock sales
  • Government payments, average per farm receiving payments
  • Market value of agricultural products sold
  • Value of sales by commodity
  • Top crop and livestock items
  • Economic characteristics
  • Operator characteristics

The state and county profiles are the first in a series of products NASS will publish following the May 2 release of the 2012 Census of Agriculture results. NASS will release new tools throughout the year to highlight the more than 6 million data points captured in the agriculture census.

“NASS is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics and part of that is making data as accessible as possible, including more online resources from the Census of Agriculture than ever before,” said Reilly. “Next up this summer are the 2012 Congressional District Profiles and Rankings, which will provide insight into agriculture of particular interest to advocates and policymakers.”

For access to the 2012 Census of Agriculture State and County Profiles and all the other Census data and tools, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

Chambliss statement on Fred Harrison Jr.

June 2, 2014, WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., former chairman and former ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, issued the following statement today regarding Fred Harrison Jr.’s new role as State Executive Director for Georgia, Farm Service Agency:

“The position of State Executive Director is critically important not only to America’s agricultural producers, but to every U.S. citizen that consumes the products our farmers produce. Our most basic strength as a nation resides in our ability to produce a safe, abundant, and affordable food supply. Fred is a longtime friend who I have frequently called upon for advice, and I am confident he will effectively guide the direction of farm program related agency policy.”

The Farm Service Agency is a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Located in all 50 states, its mission is to help American farmers provide reasonably priced food and fiber to the nation and the world. The Georgia Farm Service Agency State Committee oversees farm program activities throughout the state.