WASHINGTON, May 16, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments totaling approximately $6 billion through the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to offset crop yield and value losses.
“For over two years, farmers and ranchers across the country have been hard hit by an ongoing pandemic coupled with more frequent and catastrophic natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As the agriculture industry deals with new challenges and stressors, we at USDA look for opportunities to inject financial support back into the rural economy through direct payments to producers who bear the brunt of circumstances beyond their control. These emergency relief payments will help offset the significant crop losses due to major weather events in 2020 and 2021 and help ensure farming operations are viable this crop year, into the next growing season and beyond.”
For more information, see the press release here.
This week’s Farmer Spotlight is Lucas Killam from Jay, Florida! 🥜🌱
We had a blast visiting with Lucas at his barn a few weeks ago! Jay has a bountiful amount of ideal farm land for peanuts: flat, fertile and due to its proximity to the coast, fields does not require much irrigation and can easily achieve a bumper crop.
Lucas has been farming peanuts his whole life, but he started farming his own peanuts in 1996, nearly 22 years ago. His favorite part about farming peanuts is digging peanuts. Lucas adds “it’s just in my blood and I can’t get away from it”, in regards to what he loves most about peanut farming. Like other farmers, Lucas does not only grow peanuts, but also cotton.
When asked his favorite way to eat peanuts, Lucas said he favored boiled peanuts. We also like to ask farmers if they prefer creamy or crunchy peanut butter, and Lucas replied with “creamy”.
One difficult question we asked Lucas was to tell us what has been the most challenging part of farming for him, and he explained it has been the “financing side of farming, managing everything…especially being young.” This is very relatable for all farmers, simply because a major part of farming is the business side. Lucas’ prediction for this year’s peanut crop is that “It’s looking pretty good now I’m shooting for making a good crop.” Lucas informed us that one thing farming has taught him is to “be patient”…we couldn’t agree more!
To see pictures and view story on Facebook, click here https://www.facebook.com/floridapeanutproducersassociation/posts/214184055882730?comment_id=214341609200308¬if_id=1532969849954524¬if_t=feed_comment
Visiting our peanut farmers in their fields has became something we truly enjoy! It gives us a chance to get to know them better and provide an insight to their farming journey to the public! Today’s Peanut Farmer Spotlight is Mickey Diamond from Jay, Florida 🥜
“I put the crop in the ground and let God do the rest.” – Mickey Diamond
Mickey has been farming peanuts for 35 years and also farms cotton. His favorite part of peanut farming is digging the peanuts, and boiled is his preferred way of eating peanuts. Mickey prefers creamy over crunchy peanut butter as well!
The most challenging part of peanut farming to Mickey has been the market side of peanut farming, “you don’t know really what the end of the year is gonna bring…but it’s also knowing how to plan next year with what the acres are going to be.” Mickey also explained that he plants the same acres of peanuts, he just changes rotation from year to year.
Mickey’s prediction for this year’s peanut crop is that as of right now, it looks like an average crop… “I don’t see a bumper crop because we had a rough start but maybe we can come out with an average crop…that’s what I’m praying for.”
With Mickey farming peanuts for 35 years, we asked him when he knew he wanted to be a peanut farmer. Mickey explained, “When I started farming, I loved the dirt too much and that’s all I’ve ever done all my life and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else; if I had to do something else, I would be flying an airplane over the crop.”