Farm Progress

Peanut farmers more optimistic in 2017

Oklahoma Peanut Expo reports detailed an improving U.S. economy, good news about peanuts as a healthy food choice, opportunities for increased exports, and recommendations on production and variety options.

Ron Smith 1

April 12, 2017

14 Slides

The Perfectly Powerful Peanut

Markets, farm policy, production tips, variety updates, and more than a little bit of catching up with colleagues are part and parcel of the annual Oklahoma Peanut Expo, held recently in Altus, Okla.

Oklahoma Peanut Commission Executive Director Ron Sholar opened the annual conference with some upbeat news for peanuts.

He said the industry has rebounded from low prices and low spirits. “We saw a lot of storm clouds over the peanut industry last year,” he said. “We still see some clouds, and we still face some challenges, but things are better.”

He says Oklahoma farmers will plant 16,000 acres of peanuts in 2017, a significant increase from last year’s 11,000 planted acres. “We need the acreage,” he adds, “to maintain a critical mass of production to retain the industry. I’d like to see us get to 20,000 acres.”

Sholar says “an excellent crop in 2016 and better contract prices for 2017,” encouraged farmers to plant more peanuts.

Other reports detailed an improving U.S. economy, good news about peanuts as a healthy food choice, opportunities for increased exports, and recommendations on production and variety options.

Above are a few photos from the 2017 Expo.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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