TIFTON -- Peanut industry representatives joined together in writing a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman regarding farm bill regulations. The letter addresses several issues important to the peanut industry's success as the industry moves into a new era.

"We believe these new regulations should remove excess costs and marketplace burdens the industry has suffered in recent years. The complexities of the new program transition could be diminished with early industry input regarding regulations."

One issue addressed in the letter includes the assignment by historic peanut producers. The current 2002 deadline for the assignment of average yields and acreage fell prior to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 becoming law. Peanut industry leaders state in the letter that producers should have the opportunity to assign base to land in 2002.

The industry representatives suggest an extension of the 2002 deadline for farm reconstitution could resolve the issue which appears to be an unintended consequence based on the timing of the legislation. They further point out that this is in the bounds of the legislation since there is no front-end restriction on the assignment of peanut bases.

Joining the Georgia Peanut Commission in signing the letter include the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, American Peanut Shellers Association, American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Western Peanut Growers Association and the Florida Peanut Producers Association.

The commission has worked for over a year on the new peanut program included in the farm bill for the 2002 crop. The commission submitted testimony in support of the House and Senate Agriculture Committee's efforts to develop a new program. A summary of the farm bill are included on the commission's web site at http://www.gapeanuts.com.



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