MARIANNA, Fla. Some peanut farmers are excluded from parts of the new Farm Bill. Some aren’t too happy about it.
Growers who have not been producing peanuts since 2002 are excluded from what farmers call "Building Base" or a Farmers Historical Growth in terms of acreage ad yield.
Jeff Pittman of Jeff & Ginger Pittman Farms explained it. "There's some concern that new producers will not have an opportunity to build base that’s based on historical production since 2002. Say, for instance, a new producer had been actively engaged in producing peanuts they've not had the opportunity to build base."
And base is what triggers some program benefits within the farm bill such as p-c-l's or, profit loss calculation payments. "It really stacks the card against that type of producer. These bills- we understand them to be- designed to help production agriculture and to give you a safety net. Without base, Its hard to have the safety net provided through the PLC program."
Pittman has established base on most of his farm, but... "We also have brought new land into production since 2002 and we will not have an opportunity to build base on those acres." The new land represents roughly 15 percent of his acreage. So, in the event of crop loss... "Through the new farm bill, we don’t have the details, but we have crop insurance programs which those farms will be eligible to participate with."
Pittman urges farmers to keep in touch with local F-S-A officials on upcoming deadlines.