Farm Bill Hot Topic at Annual Peanut Meeting

By Clint Thompson

A collection of Southeast Peanut Farmers and Industry Leaders at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference the past weekend allowed for in-depth interviews and focused discussions on topics relevant to the future of the industry. The Farm Bill was particularly emphasized.

Ken Barton, Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Growers Associationdiscussed the importance of producers attending these events and providing feedback to industry leaders.

“One talking point that’s pretty big for farmers right now is the next Farm Bill. We are looking at the programs, what might happen and who might help us with the safety net or who might hurt us. It’s something farmers pay close attention to and we talk about it a lot,” Barton said.

“You don’t want only the leaders to make these decisions. We want every farmer’s opinion. “How will this program affect me and my farm? The only way we know is at events like this where we can get these farmers together and get feedback and see what fits and what is the best safety net method for me on my particular farm. Then you compile all that data and produce what works best for the majority of farmers. »

Other Reviews

Don Koehler, Executive Director of the Georgia Groundnut Commissionechoes Barton’s sentiments.

“We actually have a survey that we do for Dr. Stanley Fletcher that we gave out to all producers. We are trying to estimate the costs. Farmers have told me that their fuel prices are up 100% from last year. Their fertilizer prices have more than doubled. Equipment is up 25%. Repairs are up 25%. Their costs have gone up everywhere,” Koehler said. “The numbers we get from them and collated by Dr. Fletcher are the same numbers that we will use when we come to the farm bill to advocate for a program to continue and maybe even make improvements to the program in Washington. “

Getting producers to supply inputs is an important step in developing legislation that will last for five years.

“It’s extremely important for us to be observant and proactive on the Farm Bill because we have to offer our input long before they draft a Farm Bill. That’s what we’re trying to do now; find out what the producers want and try to include it. We’ve had reasonable success in the past and we’re trying to build on that,” said Carl Sanders, president of the Alabama Peanut Growers Association.

Jessica C. Bell