December 16, 2020 | News from the Alabama Farmers Federation
Annual Meeting Recap
The state’s largest farm organization reelected President Jimmy Parnell to a fifth two-year term during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 99th annual meeting in Montgomery Dec. 7.

Parnell, a fifth-generation farmer from Stanton in Chilton County, is a partner in his family’s cattle and timber business. He thanked the voting delegates representing all 67 counties who unanimously reinstated him.

Other annual meeting activities included:
Federation Gears Up For Centennial In 2021
The Alabama Farmers Federation is celebrating a century of service during 2021.

This video, which debuted at the annual meeting Dec. 7, takes a look back at the past 100 years — and kicks off celebrations, which will continue over the next 12 months.
Hurricane Zeta Assistance Available
The Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF) is accepting applications through Jan. 15 from farmers who suffered losses related to Hurricane Zeta. 

The relief fund is designed to help offset farmer losses not covered by a farmowner policy, crop insurance or disaster relief programs. An independent committee will evaluate the applications based on need and award grants in February.
Commodity Corner
Enjoy updates from Alabama Farmers Federation commodity directors.
The Environmental Management Commission voted Dec. 11 to allow poultry producers to apply for a 5-year CAFO permit. The new permit will become available in early 2021 and replaces annual permitting requirements.

Cotton, Soybeans and Wheat & Feed Grains
Alabama Extension has created a video series to prepare producers for the 2021 growing season. Videos focus on timely topics for improving profitability and feature expert speakers from Auburn University and other land-grant universities. Watch the videos here.

“The 2020 harvest season is almost over, with just a few producers finishing up the last acres,” said Extension's Kris Balkcom. “Late fall rain due to the active hurricane season delayed everyone from being as timely with their harvest as they would have liked. I feel we might see a yield around 3,700-3,800 pounds per acre. Everyone has had many obstacles and challenges in 2020, but I am grateful for farmers' perseverance and hard work.”

Catfish Production Report surveys will be available Dec. 21. The survey includes questions about water acres, stock on hand, and 2020 production and sales figures. Farmers will complete the survey through a mailed questionnaire, secure online reporting or by phone. Questions? Call USDA's Deonne Holiday at (601) 559-8678.

Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association
AFVGA members met Dec. 3 for a general business meeting. Joe Lambrecht of Elmore County was elected president, Arlie Powell of Chilton County was elected vice president, and Beth Hornsby of Lee County was elected secretary/treasurer. Bobby Boozer and Jimmy Witt rotated off the board while Mike Reeves of Morgan County and Dawn Smith of Tallapoosa County were elected as board members.
Check Out The Alabama AgCast
Spare time? Driving around? Looking for ag news? Catch up on the weekly Alabama AgCast, produced by the Alabama Farmers Federation and sponsored by Alabama Ag Credit.

Recent segments include:
  • Christmas tree farms
  • Hunter safety
  • Peanuts
  • Simply Southern TV
  • H2A Guest Worker Program
In Case You Missed It
  • With nearly 400 entries by over 250 people, the Farming Feeds Alabama Photo Contest captured the diverse story of agriculture. Submissions ranged from backyard birds to gardens’ bounty and from cattle to row crops. Check out the winning entries here.

  • Alabama’s agriculture community has seen friction decrease and prices increase since U.S. signed the Phase I trade agreement with China. Read more in this Business Alabama piece featuring Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell and soybean farmer Wendy Yeager.

  • The USDA has launched its AskUSDA Contact Center program. AskUSDA is the “one front door” for phone, chat and web inquires, transforming how the public interacts with USDA. Click here to access the site.

  • Callie Nelson and Amelia Mitchell have been named assistant directors for Alabama Extension county office operations, effective Feb. 1. Nelson will be at Auburn University while Mitchell will be at Alabama A&M University. 
Events & Deadlines
Simply Southern Starts New Season In January
E.V. Smith Research Center
This series from Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station Director Greg Pate highlights practical research benefiting farmers at regional units.
The E.V. Smith Research Center conducts applied research in field crop production and plant breeding for growers in the central Alabama coastal plains.

Founded in the late '70s, research concentrates on every aspect of cotton breeding, production, and integrated pest management.

Recent studies are examining the devastating effects of Cotton Leaf Roll Dwarf Virus, better known as Cotton Blue Disease. 
In Memory
Phillip Wilborn of Langston died Nov. 19. He was 65. Wilborn was a Jackson County Farmers Federation board member and goat farmer. Read more about his legacy.

Alvin Stone of Pine Apple died Dec. 5. He was 86. Stone was a Wilcox County Farmers Federation board member and cattleman. Read more about his legacy.

Robert "Buddy" Walker of Florence died Dec. 8. He was 84. Walker was a member of the Lauderdale County Farmers Federation board. Read more about his legacy.

Charles "Babe" Ezzell of Vina died Dec. 11. He was 83. Ezzell served over 20 years as Franklin County Farmers Federation president. Read more about his legacy.

Don Harmon of West Blocton died Dec. 12. He was 76. Harmon served on the Bibb County Farmers Federation board. Read more about his legacy.

Richard Laird of Roanoke died Dec. 14. He was 81. A former state representative, Laird was involved in the Randolph County Farmers Federation. Read more about his legacy.

Marshall Prickett of Jacksonville died Dec. 14. He was 86. He was involved in the Calhoun County Farmers Federation. Read more about his legacy.

Louise Smalley of Arab died Dec. 14. She was 93. Smalley was heavily involved in Women's Leadership Committee activities in Marshall County and around the state. Read more about her legacy.