COVID-19 Update


The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly. The Georgia Peanut Commission will be posting some of the best resources for our industry and including them here.
If you have any questions please call our main office at 229-386-3470 or email info@gapeanuts.com.

Request for Increased Peanut Butter Purchases during Pandemic
(April 21, 2020) The U.S. Peanut Federation (USPF) recently submitted a letter to Congressman Sanford Bishop, subcommittee chairman on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and related agencies within the Committee on Appropriations, to request increased peanut butter purchases as Congress continues to work on providing further assistance and developing the Fiscal Year 2021 Agricultural Appropriations legislation. Following the USPF letter, Congressman Bishop submited a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue regarding the Coronavirus Assistance program and encouraged peanut butter purchases. Peanut and peanut butter products are shelf stable and affordable, making it an excellent product for most pantries.
View Letter from the U.S. Peanut Federation to Congressman Sanford Bishop
View Letter from Congressman Sanford Bishop to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) on April 17, 2020. This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.
View USDA press release.
View press release from Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee.
View press release from House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway.
Georgia Peanut Commission hosted Webinar: Peanut & Agribusiness COVID-19 Relief Act Update
The Georgia Peanut Commission hosted a webinar discussion with U.S. Congressmen Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott on Friday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. The congressmen discussed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
View archived webinar.

Third Coronavirus Relief Package Becomes Law
Contains Numerous Provisions for Agriculture
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives moved quickly on the third relief legislation, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Senate passed the bill 96-0 and the House passed the legislation by a voice vote. President Trump signed the bill the same day as House passage.
Important for growers are provisions for Commodity Credit Corporation funding and additional nutrition assistance. Specifically, the agricultural provisions included:
  • $14 billion for the Farm Bill’s Farm Safety Net through the Commodity Credit Corporation
  • $9.5 billion disaster assistance for specialty crop, beef and dairy farmers
  • $10 million for Farm and Agribusiness small business interruption loans
  • $3 million to increase capacity at the USDA Farm Service Agency
  • $100 million for rural high speed internet expansion
  • $15.8 billion to fund new food assistance included in the CARES Act
  • $9 billion to fund child nutrition
  • $450 in additional resources for food banks
  • $100 million for food distribution in Tribal communities

  • In addition, the CARES Act contained a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that provides for $350 billion to support loans. According to the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee the PPP “provides 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If the employer maintains its payroll, then the portion of the loan used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to recover quickly from this crisis.”

    The CARES Act also enhanced the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. For those interested in PPP, they should go to their local banker or credit union. Access is available on the SBA website for the EIDL program.
    Assistance for American Workers and Families
    In the weeks immediately after the passage of the CARES Act, Americans will see fast and direct relief in the form of Economic Impact Payments. For more information, CLICK HERE.
    Assistance for Small Business
    The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
    View program info.
    Paycheck Protection Program Resources
    The Department of the Treasury and Small Business Administration issued guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program. The guidance can be found here:
    Paycheck Protection Program Loans - Frequently Asked Questions (April 6, 2020)
    Paycheck Protection Program Loans - FAQ's for Farms (USDA website)
    Paycheck Protection Program - Interim Final Rule.
    SBA Paycheck Protection Program website.
    Department of the Treasurey CARES Act.
    Preserving Jobs for American Industry
    The CARES Act assists eligible businesses looking for payroll support to keep Americans working. For more information, CLICK HERE.
    Bishop Creates COVID-19 Resource Guide for Second Congressional District
    (March 31, 2020) Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement about a COVID-19 Resource Guide for his constituents:

    “The news of the coronavirus outbreak in middle and southwest Georgia is concerning to all of us and finding the right information can be difficult. My office and I worked hard to compile a number of federal, state, and county resources available to Georgians impacted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. It includes stipend and loan information for workers and business owners, and even hospital contact information for each county. Please note that this is a general resource guide and the information within is not exhaustive.”

    The PDF version of the Resource Guide can be found here. The web version can be found here.

    Peanut Industry Requests CCC Funding
    (March 23, 2020) The U.S. Peanut Federation joined an ag industry coalition supporting funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The coalition emphasized in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy:
    “Farmers and ranchers are proud to be trusted to feed nearly 330 million Americans and we’ll continue working every day to do so, but Congress must ensure the CCC has ample authority and funding to help farmers and ranchers survive during this emergency. The inclusion of these provisions would ensure the Secretary of Agriculture has the tools needed to meet this crisis head-on for all of agriculture.”
    View Letter
    USPF Asks USDA for Increased Peanut Butter Purchases
    (March 18, 2020) The U.S. Peanut Federation (USPF), comprised of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation, the American Peanut Shellers Association and the National Peanut Buying Points Association requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) include peanut butter in the coronavirus relief funding being used for nutrition programs.
    In a letter to USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the USPF stated, “As USDA continues to work on providing further assistance, the peanut industry believes that peanut butter is a product that should be considered for those in need.”
    The USPF sent the letter in response to the passage of the second coronavirus relief act, the Family First Coronavirus Response Act.
    View Letter
    Ag Coalition Writes President on Importance of Food Supply Chain
    (March 18, 2020) The U.S. Peanut Federation and other national agricultural organizations signed on a letter to President Trump discussing the importance of keeping agriculture’s needs in mind during the COVID-19 response. Agricultural organizations requested the following of the White House:
    “As you consider additional steps to restrict movement to protect our nation from COVID-19, we ask your Administration to be mindful of the food, feed, and agricultural supply chain and workforce impacts on the ability of U.S. agriculture to meet the needs of consumers. These include but are certainly not limited to impacts on accessibility of seed, fertilizer, crop protection products, agricultural labor, equipment, feed and ingredients for food-producing animals, modes of transportation, the availability of required U.S. government inspection services, and daily movement of milk.” .
    View Letter
    Reps. Austin Scott, Doug Collins Urge Sec. Pompeo to Support Georgia Farmers, Maintain Food Security in the Midst of Coronarvius Outbreak
    (March 17, 2020) Congressmen Austin Scott (GA-08) and Doug Collins (GA-09) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the inadvertent delays in processing H-2 agricultural guest worker visas in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, threatening Georgia farmers’ ability to ensure Americans have access to the food they need.
    “We write in concern over inadvertent delays in processing H-2 agricultural guest workers, an issue that has been brought to our attention by farmers across Georgia,” wrote the Members. “Such delays could have a substantial negative impact on the United States’ domestic commodity and food supply.”
    “Given the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus, Georgians and folks across America are understandably concerned about their ability to continue accessing the food they need. As one of the nation’s top agricultural producers, the state of Georgia and its farmers supply food … to every corner of the United States. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the supply of cotton … would also be harmed by any H-2 agricultural guest worker program delay.”
    “During these trying times, we must focus efforts on ensuring Americans have continued access to the foods and commodities they rely on. This access relies heavily on farmers’ abilities to utilize agricultural workers under the H-2 program.”
    View Letter