Peanut farmers are asked to submit comments on a proposed rule based on recommendations by 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 board did this to align the incoming standards with recent changes to the outgoing quality standards and to help increase returns to peanut producers.
The recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board will be taken under consideration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Comments on the recommendation, available at www.regulations.gov, should be submitted to the Office of the Docket Clerk by June 26. The
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.
Georgia Peanut Commission encourages all peanut farmers to comment on the proposed rule and encourages USDA to allow this change to become effective for the 2017 crop.
"Segregation 1 peanut standards are an ancient regulation and the technology in the industry is vastly improved," said Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission, in a written statement. "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."
"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,” said U.S. Congressman Rick Allen, R-Georgia, in a written statement from the Georgia Peanut Commission.
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.