Peanut farmers applaud revision of legislation

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TIFTON, Ga. (May 25, 2017) The Georgia Peanut Commission issued comments today in full support of the proposed rule issued in the Federal Register regarding a recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board to revise the minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States.

The Peanut Standards Board voted in the fall of 2016 to raise the grading score used to classify farmer stock peanuts as SEG 1’s from 2.49 percent to 3.49 percent. This effort would also adjust Segregation 2 requirements to reflect this change. The Georgia Peanut Commission encourages the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow this change to become effective for the 2017 crop.

View the proposed rule.

U.S. Congressman Rick Allen, R-Georgia, also offered his support of the revision. “As a Representative from a major peanut-producing district, I applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their proposed changes to peanut quality standards requirements. These proposed changes align with the recommendations of the Peanut Standards Board and I believe these changes will greatly reduce the burden on peanut growers in my district and across the United States,” Allen says. “I urge all affected parties to comment during this open comment period and encourage the USDA to finalize a rule in time to be applied to the 2017 crop.”

The Peanut Standards Board recommended this change to align the incoming standards with recent changes to the outgoing quality standards and to help increase returns to peanut producers.

“Segregation 1 peanut standards are an ancient regulation and the technology in the industry is vastly improved,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “A similar action was granted to the peanut processors last year on outgoing regulations so it only makes sense growers should be afforded the same revision in the rules.”

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The Georgia Peanut Commission encourages all peanut farmers to comment on the proposed rule which is available online at www.regulations.gov. All comments must be submitted to the Office of the Docket Clerk by June 26, 2017. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or Internet: www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the document number (AMS-SC-16-0102; SC16-996-3 PR) and the date (May 25, 2017) and page number (24082) of this issue of the Federal Register.

The Peanut Standards Board, authorized under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, consists of 18 members representing the peanut growing regions of the U.S. The United States Department of Agriculture consults with the board to establish or change quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts.

The recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board will now be taken under consideration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Any comments on the recommendation should be submitted to the Office of the Docket Clerk by June 26, 2017.

Summary
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board (Board) for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. The initial Board was appointed by the Secretary and announced on December 5, 2002. USDA seeks nominations for individuals to be considered for selection as Board members for a term of office ending June 30, 2019. Selected nominees would replace three producers and three industry representatives who currently serve on the Board and have terms of office that end on June 30, 2016. The Board consists of 18 members representing producers and the industry. In an effort to obtain diversity among candidates, USDA encourages the nomination of men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and persons with a disability.
AD-755-Master – Peanut Standards Board Background Information Form
Learn more about the Peanut Standards Board

Contact
Steven W. Kauffman of the Southeast Marketing Field Office
Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA
1124 1st St.
Winter Haven, FL 33880
Telephone: (863) 324-3375
Fax: (863) 291-8614
Email: Steven.Kauffman@ams.usda.gov


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