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The U.S. Department of Agriculture set the national quota poundage for 2001 at 1,180,000 tons, the same as 2000. Quota will be allocated to each state based on the state’s share of the 2000 crop. Price support for quota is $610 per ton. Price support for additionals will be announced by Feb. 15, 2001.

Syngenta Formed From Novartis and AstraZeneca
The merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemcials resulted in the launch of Syngenta, the world’s largest company dedicated to agribusiness.

Syngenta offers a broad range of crop protection products, including brands such as Touchdown, Gramoxone, Discover, and Dual II Magnum herbicides, Force insecticide and Quadris fungicide.

Syngenta employs approximately 20,000 people in more than 50 countries. Sales in 1999 were reached $7 billion.

Semi-Truck Promotion
Southern Ag Carriers and the National Peanut Buying Points Association (NPBPA) have announced plans to equip another 30 trucks with peanut decals.

"It’s hard to find a better investment of advertising money than to invest $500 in a truck and 10 million impressions are made within a year," says Dan Gay, NPBPA president.

The semi-truck promotion will drop the 1-800 number and instead urge consumers to get more information via the Internet at

Henry Griffin of Southern Ag Carriers, says, "Drivers get a lot of comments about the signs and it is much better than a ‘blank’ semi-trailer." Griffin says the group has ordered 600 miniatures for collectors and special promotions.

Using Peanut Hulls as an Energy Source
An engineering team at Clark Atlanta University is testing a process that extracts hydrogen from peanut hulls. If successful, the hydrogen could be used as an energy source, such as being combined with natural gas to fuel mass-transit buses.

After the reformer extracts hydrogen from the shells, the process leaves behind activated carbons.

Scientific Carbons Inc., in Blakely, Ga., is building a hydrogen steam reformer. The company plans to use the carbons in water and sewage filters.

Hydrogen extraction is more expensive than fuel costs, but the scientists have been charged with the mission of refining the process to see if mass-scale production would be economically feasible.

Testing Early for Desired Consumer Traits
To ensure that newly released varieties are palatable in the marketplace and to learn more about other important qualities, the National Peanut Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., has built a new facility for testing seed. Researchers at the facility will test seed for size distribution, shellability, blanchability, roastability, flavor, grade and other desirable consumer traits.

Paul Blankenship says the new facility will include two shelling and sizing lines which replicate that in a commercial shelling plant. He said they also plan to expand the system to include testing new seed varieties and adding new technology as equipment is developed.

Patrick Archer, program director, says the European market strategy is
The American Peanut Council (APC) is seeking government assistance to help build export markets, and they are coordinating funding for market promotions. Thus far, funding sources include the Market Access Program of the Foreign Ag Service with $1,022,917, the Foreign Market Development Program with $558,944 and the National Peanut Board with $1,567,950.

The goal is to implement a series of promotional programs in the key target markets of Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. Using positive health and nutrition messages, the APC hopes to change opinions about peanuts and ultimately boost consumption in these markets.

In Brief
- USDA set quota poundage at 1,180,000 tons. Price support was set at $610 per ton.

- Southern Ag Carriers and the National Peanut Buying Points Association equip more trucks with promotional decals.

- Syngenta is formed from the merger of Novartis and AstraZeneca.

- The National Peanut Laboratory, Dawson, Ga. opens new seed testing facility.

- Clark Atlanta University tests a process for extracting hydrogen from peanut hulls for use as an energy source.

- Promotional campaign seeks to recapture market share in top five foreign markets.