Hundreds of farmers from Alabama and Florida filled the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds last Thursday for the annual Alabama/Florida Peanut Trade Show.
“The attendance will be a little down this year due to the winter storm we just had,” said Carl Sanders, president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. “But, the number of attendees is growing as the weather warms up.”
Around 60 vendors were able to attend this year’s trade show offering the latest information on farming equipment, farm insurance and up-to-date research on peanut varieties.
“We are grateful we were still able to host this event, even with the winter storm,” said Jim Cravey, executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. “This event is designed to help farmers not only fine-tune their farming operations, but it also allows them to see what changes are taking place in the peanut industry. The main goal of the trade show is to update all the farmers on the research taking place in both states, and, hopefully, the farmers learn how to make their farms more profitable. The peanut industry is an amazing industry in this area, and it needs to continue to grow.”
Everyone in attendance had the chance to not only register for door prizes, but to also visit with each vendor. Vendors were on hand to discuss many topics that would appeal to peanut farmers.
One new item displayed during the trade show was the American International TN LLC pit-less truck dumper.
“This is a great invention,” said Bo Hobbs, owner of American International TN LLC. “This new product has not been around very long. However, it has been very successful in the areas it is located in. Now, I am hoping, by attending this trade show, farmers in Alabama and Florida will become very interested in the product. Where a regular peanut wagon can only hold 8 tons, this trailer can hold 25 tons. It is safer, and more peanuts can be hauled to the mill. The trailer does not have the liability for farmers and motorists as the traditional peanut wagons do.”
Representatives from SunSouth were also in attendance offering the latest information available on John Deere equipment.
“This is the time of year where farmers are interested in knowing the latest information available on equipment,” said Blake Kirkland with SunSouth. “This is the time of year where farmers are trading in equipment and purchasing newer and bigger pieces of equipment for the upcoming peanut season. Today, we are spotlighting our Willmar SPK645. What makes this piece of equipment so unique is it is designed to keep chemicals from drifting as they are sprayed. This allows the chemicals to actually come in contact with the crop, and it was designed to be more environmentaly friendly.”
Farmers in attendance also heard the latest news on the Farm Bill.
“The Farm Bill passed the House,” Cravey said. “Now, it is on its way to Senate. We know it doesn’t have everything we would have liked for it to have had. But, it is a good bill. We have two outstanding senators, and we believe they will do what they can to support it. Alabama has a real good delegation between senators and congressmen. They do a fine job helping and supporting our farmers. We try to always keep them informed, that way they can always make a decision that will benefit the people.”
The Alabama/Florida Peanut Producers Association thanks the different companies who donated prizes to be given away during the annual trade show.
“We want to thank everyone for coming today,” Cravey said. “We know the weather had everything up in the air over the last couple of days. But, we had a great turnout, and we thank everyone for coming. We are looking forward to next year’s event.”