Peanut farmers meet to discuss Farm Bill

Published 02/19 2014 09:14PM

Updated 02/19 2014 09:23PM

Peanut farmers meet for clarification of the Farm Bill in Headland on February 19, 2014.
Peanut farmers meet for clarification of the Farm Bill in Headland on February 19, 2014.

Congress passed the Farm Bill, but peanut farmers are trying to crop through the information to put it to good use.


With a lot of new guidelines, the farmers have lots of questions.  The Alabama Peanut Producers Association hosted a meeting today to answer some key questions. 


 “There's a lot of information out there coming from multiple sources and sometimes you feel like you’re getting different information so it was hopefully to see if we could consolidate some of this information and get some more specifics,” said peanut and cotton producer Josh Carnley.


 “It can mean a lot to your bottom line if you make the right choices.  It’s a five-year Farm Bill, If you don’t make the right choices, then you’re going to hurt for five years,” Edward White, a peanut farmer in Headland said.


Peanut farmers and producer associations from around the state met in Headland today to discuss the changes.


The farmers aren't really that concerned, they just want to understand the rules and guidelines, to make sure they can profit from the bill.


One of the major changes with the bill is there’s no longer a guarantee on the amount of funds the farmers will receive. 


“Direct payments are gone.  They’re history.  So that is one of the major things.  We no longer get a payment, unless prices go low.  Before, we had a guaranteed payment.  It’s gone," said Alabama Peanut Producers Association President Carl Sanders.


Changes were also made to crop insurance, producer and land/owner decisions and loans that farmers can qualify for.


“A lot of it is how they will look at bases for the farm that could be utilized from year to year, and how that works out with the current bases they have.  So there are those questions about it,” Dr. Stanley Fletcher, University of Georgia Professor Emeritus and Director of the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness said.


And some rules could still change. 


The USDA gets the final say on the Farm Bill's interpretation.  And it's expected to finalize the rules in the next few months.

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