Bob Redding, U.S. Peanut Federation (USPF) Washington Representative, spoke at the APSA/NPBPA Pre-Harvest Meeting this week on the 2023 Farm Bill. The U.S. Congress is out of session for August recess, and they will return after Labor Day. During the break, U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committee staff are busy drafting legislative text for the Farm Bill. When legislators return to Washington, D.C. in September, U.S. House Agriculture Committee markups on the bill will hopefully begin. Farm programs expire on September 30 and there will likely be a short-term Farm Bill extension.

                USPF continues to be focused on a reference price increase for the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program in the 2023 Farm Bill. Reference price increases across all Title I commodities will be a top issue for this bill. Another top issue is likely to be a solution for updating base acres across commodities. Recently, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) released their position supporting a one-time nationwide mandatory base acre update as determined by recent planting history. A mandatory base acre update would have negative effects for most commodities, including peanuts, which would lose base acres across the nation. 


                  Bob Parker, former head of the National Peanut Board, talked about the future of peanuts at the pre-harvest meeting of buying points and shellers.  Parker says the U.S. Peanut industry has a potential for 4 million tons in production in the next 10 years.  He said 10 years ago, the US produced 2 million tons, today 3 million tons.  One potential market is peanut oil, reasoning that the U.S. produces 5.8% of the world’s peanuts, but only 2% of the oil.  Peanut oil burns cleaner and most efficiently. To succeed, peanut oil must be price competitive.  The government mandates for biofuels is an opportunity for peanut oil. Need to grow a peanut variety that produces 60% + peanut oil, not today’s 32%. 

                  Parker mentioned: High Oleic peanuts have high value for animal feed. Research indicates improves egg and meat quality.

                  Keep supporting Genomics and find more genomics solutions to combat aflatoxin, diseases and improve nutrition. He said the industry must become more efficient in handling and processing. Consider continuous flow drying.  Develop a jet fuel from peanuts.  In 1906, Carver founded over 106 uses for peanuts. Let’s investigate them.


                   The American Peanut Council has concluded a trade mission in Mexico City where it led a group of peanut industry leaders and U.S. suppliers to meet with Mexican customers and stakeholders. More than 80 people from the U.S. and Mexico took part in the two-day summit.  Mexico is the top export market for U.S. peanuts. Nearly 150,000 metric tons, valued at $212 million, was exported to Mexico in 2022. By volume, total U.S. exports of peanuts to Mexico have increased by 36% since 2018. 

                  “Mexico is an extremely important market for U.S. peanuts,” said APC President and CEO Richard Owen. “The U.S. represents 88 percent of the country’s peanut import share. It’s important that we continue to reinforce those valuable trading partnerships and meet with new potential customers as we continue to expand opportunities for peanut products.” 

                  John Slette, director of USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City, and other USDA trade staff took part in the summit. Peanuts are a favorite among Mexican consumers and remain their top snack of choice, ahead of chips, fruits, vegetables and popcorn. Mexico’s estimated retail sales of peanuts reached $408 million in 2022, larger than the UK, Germany, Canada and France. Further, Mexican peanut butter sales shot up to a record-high $28 million in 2022, a 5% increase over the previous year

                “The U.S. has a great product to export and, as market research demonstrates, Mexico is hungry for more peanuts as peanut butter and other peanut products are on the rise,” continued Owen. “This Mexican trade mission was a huge success in showing we can deliver a safe, nutritious, delicious and sustainably grown product.”


                The Peanut Leadership Academy is now accepting nominees for Class XIII.  The Peanut Leadership Academy is a cooperative effort between grower organizations and agricultural extension. The academy is sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and the American Peanut Shellers Association. Participants are nominated by agricultural leaders in their counties and then selected by a committee of state leaders. 

                To be eligible for participation, candidates must derive their primary livelihood from farming and currently produce peanuts, make a commitment to the program, agree to attend all sessions except in times of illness or a family emergency, be between the ages of 22 and 45 and provide a completed application.

                For info -


 As you know, the agriculture industry is facing a significant labor shortage. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to find a reliable domestic agricultural workforce, despite good wages and working conditions. This labor shortage has been especially difficult for peanut processors (buying points and shellers), who are currently ineligible to participate in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program.

Peanut processors are currently excluded from participating in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program because peanut processing is not considered “agricultural work”. Historically, the H-2A program has been reserved for traditional agricultural work that occurs on the farm (planting, harvesting, etc.). However, there are some notable exceptions, such as the eligibility of cotton ginners to use the H-2A program. Work “in connection with the ginning of cotton” is expressly recognized as “agricultural labor” in the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C.A. 3121(g)(3).

Peanut processing is an essential part of the agricultural process of preparing peanuts for market. After harvest, peanuts are taken to a buying point where they are dried and graded, then they move through the shelling process to be cleaned, de-hulled, and sorted into kernels. The vast majority of peanuts grown in the U.S. go through the shelling process, and a small percentage of peanut varietals are sold in-shell.

In the Committee’s consideration of labor reforms, including modifications to the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program, the U.S. Peanut Federation would like to request that peanut processors, including peanut buying points and peanut shellers, are eligible for the H-2A program. Extending the H-2A program to include peanut processors will be an essential tool to ensure that the peanut industry has a strong, reliable workforce to continue to produce a great agricultural product.


                   For peanut farmers a new peanut variety holds promise for sustainability and profitability, results of 10-year genomic research.  It is called TifCB7.  The Peanut Research Foundation (TPRF) heralded the new TifCB7 peanut variety as a game changer for peanut sustainability and farm profitability. A product of TPRF’s 10-year Peanut Genome Initiative (PGI), TifCB7 is the first variety released as a direct result of the groundbreaking research.

                “In ten short years, The Peanut Research Foundation’s peanut genome research has delivered significant science that is already producing real-world results that hold great promise for lower cost of production and improved sustainability,” said TPRF Executive Director Steve Brown. “It is incredible to witness firsthand the role breeding and genetics serve in sustainable peanut production.”

                Researchers believe TifCB7 will have a huge impact on peanut sustainability due to its extremely high level of resistance to late leaf spot disease, which should greatly reduce the need for fungicide sprays and decrease trips across the field for growers. In turn, the TifCB7 (a high-oleic runner) yields and grades very well and is expected to improve profitability.

              TifCB7 is currently being grown by seed producer and peanut industry leader Donald Chase on his family farm, Chase Farms,in Olgethorpe, Ga.The new variety is a joint release from the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service and the University of Georgia. Dr. Corley Holbrook (USDA-ARS), Dr. Peggy Ozias-Akins (UGA) and Ye (Juliet) Chu (UGA) were the lead research team overseeing the development of TifCB7, but many talented scientists contributed over several years of research.

                During a field day earlier this week, Chase invited the peanut community to his farm for a special viewing of the 15-acre seed increase field. Leaders from all segments of the peanut community, from growers and shellers to manufacturers, came out in anticipation and support of the new variety. TifCB7 will be in seed increase for at least a couple of years before becoming generally available.

                “The new TifCB7peanut variety is the beneficiary of a long and cooperative effort between the research community and The Peanut Research Foundation and we are excited it’s being supported by so many people in the industry,” said Chase. “We look forward to continued advancements in sustainability and disease resistance due to the results of the Peanut Genome Initiative.”

                Chase plans to harvest the trial TifCB7in October.


                  During the Pre-Harvest Meeting, the American Peanut  Shellers Association presented four special Merit Awards.  Merit Award is to recognize and honor non-sheller individuals in the peanut industry for their personal time and efforts dedicated to APSA.

                H.R. ‘Bert’ PENA - Bert represented the peanut shelling industry (American Peanut Shellers Association) before the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch of the U.S. Government on legislative, regulatory and public policy matters for 33 years. He also represents clients from the EU, Canada, and Spanish-speaking countries of the Western Hemisphere and Spain with legal, regulatory and commercial issues in the USA.

                DICK IZMIRIAN - Dick founded Alimenta SA, Trading peanuts and peanut oil out of Geneva, Switzerland and Rotterdam, Netherlands. He owned shelling plants in Sudan and traded around the world. Around 1980, he purchased Camilla Cotton Oil, which was a shelling and oil facility.  After growing that, he partnered with Golden Peanut around 1987, sharing their export business. 

                DR. BILL BRANCH - Geneticist in peanut breeding at the University of Georgia.  Dr. Branch has authored or co-authored 148 peer-reviewed journal articles and published and presented 105 Abstracts at professional conferences.  He haswritten 58 popular press articles and released 33 peanut cultivars to the public.  He has also released 4 germplasm lines, 9 genetic stocks, and 1 parental line publicly for the peanut breeding community.

                JIM BOSTICK – He is Executive Director for the Alabama Seed Association and Executive Vice President for the Alabama Crop Improvement Association and the Southern Seed Certification Association.  He also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences.  In that role, he was responsible for the official Peanut Variety Test and the Uniform Peanut Performance Test from 1992-2017.

                APSA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS – Two LIFETIME Achievement Awards were presented. This award recognizes and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the peanut industry.  Recipients of this award are recognized for dedication and lifelong commitment to the peanut industry, and advancing the shelling sector.

                KARL ZIMMER - Karl served eight years as CEO of Premium Peanut.  Premium has grown from 140,000 tons to over 300,000 tons as well as expanding into oil and seed and constructing a new plant in South Carolina. He served as Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board of APSA.  He served on the Committee on Peanut Legislation and became Chairman of the Board of the United States Peanut Federation.  Karl also served as Chairman of the Board of the American Peanut Council. 

                BOB PARKER – CEO of National Peanut Board, Bob served as APSA Chairman of the Research and Warehousing Committee. He served as chairman and President of the APSA Board of Directors and served as chairman of the Board of the Peanut Institute. Bob has served the peanut industry for 47 years and plans to retire December 31.