U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Martin Barbre met with specialty crop farmers while visiting the state. Barbre visited blueberry, satsuma, kiwi and other fruit and vegetable growers. Famers used the opportunity to give feedback on challenges, concerns, and opportunities they encounter when utilizing RMA programs. Producers discussed ways RMA can streamline and strengthen programs they depend on to assist with unknown and unforeseen challenges.
-Hunter McBrayer, executive director
Alabama poultry leaders met in Montgomery in early November to discuss the state’s avian influenza outbreak plan. Producers should be mindful of migratory birds potentially posing disease threats to their farms. Farmers are cautioned to follow strict biosecurity protocol on and off the farm.
-Russ Durrance, division director
Culinary educators, chefs, editors and food bloggers attended a farm-to-table peanut harvest tour in Dothan Oct. 20-23 hosted by the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Southern Peanut Growers and National Peanut Board. Along with seeing peanut harvest, they toured the Wiregrass Research and Experiment Station, a buying point, a shelling plant and Golden Boy Foods peanut butter plant in Troy.
-Jacob Davis, executive director
Earlier this year, a new bait privilege was passed by the Alabama Legislature. The new license endorsement allows hunters on privately owned or leased land to hunt white-tailed deer and feral swine with the aid of any grain, minerals or salt. All hunters, regardless of age or status, must purchase this $15 license to legally hunt over bait.
-William Green, division director
Cotton, Soybean, Wheat & feed Grain
The Alabama Row Crops Short Course is Dec. 10 at the Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center. The free course is an excellent opportunity for producers to expand their knowledge with researchers on the cutting edge of agricultural technology. Register at aces.edu/go/1102.
-Carla Hornady, divisions director
Meat Goat & Sheep
The Meat Goat & Sheep Checkoff Referendum passed with overwhelming support from Alabama producers. This means the checkoff program will continue to serve producers through research, education and promotion for at least the next five years. The State Meat Goat & Sheep Committee would like to extend a special thank you to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Farmers Federation’s area organization directors for their efforts in facilitating the referendum.
-Brady Ragland, division director