Georgia's peanut farmers stand to lose $7 million, a minimum of $7 per ton of peanuts, if a proposal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the peanut loan rate is approved, according to the Georgia Peanut Commission.
The GPC opposes the proposal because of the cost to Georgia's growers and the proposal was not discussed during the recent farm bill negotiations.
Since USDA first released the proposal on May 30, they have announced an extension so the 2008 crop would not be affected. However, GPC fears future plans for this proposal and the implications to Georgia's growers, who already are adversely affected by the increasing costs of fuel and fertilizer.
The motion approved by the GPC Board of Directors and Advisory Board members read as follows: "The Georgia Peanut Commission Board of Directors opposes the peanut loan rate differential proposal offered by Deputy Under Secretary Floyd Gaibler for any crop year, not just 2008. The Board believes that Gaibler's action will cost Georgia peanut producers in excess of $7 per ton of peanuts in crop year 2009 and subsequent crop years."
GPC is sending a delegation to Washington, D.C., on June 20 to meet with USDA officials to discuss this issue. Georgia congressional delegation members continue to work to stop the efforts by Deputy Under Secretary Gaibler to implement the proposed cuts for peanut producers.
GPC encourages growers across the country to contact their Congressman and Senators to voice their opposition to this USDA proposal. Growers can get additional information and send a letter to their Congress at www.AmericanPeanuts.com.