Conservative estimates indicate 2015 U.S. peanut acreage will be up about 15 percent over last year. That’s enough to keep pressure on prices, considering a 922,000-ton carry forward and not enough increase in domestic consumption and export—although both appear to be on an upward trend—to use up an average yield on that many more acres.
If planted acreage goes higher, 20 percent or more, the glut will be significantly worse and farmer prices will continue to drop, putting more strain on the new farm program.
Tyron Spearman, Peanut Farm Market News, Tifton, Ga., says current estimates show acreage will be up at least 15 percent across the Peanut Belt. “Georgia will increase acreage by 22 percent,” he said, during opening remarks Thursday (March 26) at the 50thannual Oklahoma Peanut Expo.
A stipulation in the new farm program makes peanuts an attractive option, Spearman noted. Under the law, farmers with cotton base, now considered generic base, may set aside peanut base and still be paid as long as they don’t plant a covered crop on those acres. They can plant peanuts on the generic base and be eligible for payments on those planted peanuts as well. Peanuts also have a separate $125,000 payment limitation, per entity.
Farmers across the Cotton/Peanut Belt are considering that opportunity as well as the current low price for cotton and the additional production cost many producers face this year in battling herbicide-resistant weeds as they finalize planting intentions.