The Mississippi peanut crop is about 90% planted as of the last week of May. Wet weather caused a slow start to the season, but Mississippi's peanut acres are planted for the most part and farmers are starting to see some good stands, says Malcolm Broome, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association executive director.
Peanut crop update
"For the Delta, the wet weather prevented planting for some time, so most weren't able to get in the field and get going until the last couple of weeks," Broome said. "I know we are completely planted in the south half of the state.
"Based on the commodity prices for peanuts, we probably have an increase in acres over what we were expecting in the fall. I wouldn't doubt we're in the 20,000 to 25,000 range for acres in peanuts in Mississippi."
South Mississippi got planted fairly early thanks to drier weather.
"It almost got a little on the dry side in the south half of the state, and people held off planting for a week or 10 days," Broome said. "Then we got some rain and are just about finished up planting. We have seen a good stand emerging so far. All we need is to keep the good growing conditions from here on, and we should have a good crop from what it looks like across the state."
Most of the acres are being planted in the Georgia 06 G variety.
"We have some growers planting a few of the higher-yielding high oleic varieties," Broome said," but that tends to be a limited number of acres in the Delta."
There have been no major pests so far, but fungicide will be necessary soon.
"As we continue to have hot and humid weather, there will be some need for applying a fungicide before too long," he said. "Normally, we're 45 days or more after emergence before fungicides are applied, but if we get some rain by next week, we'll probably be looking at maybe starting some fungicide activity. I know some of the guys are hauling in stocks of gypsum to put on their fields. They'll get that started in another week or so when it's dry enough to go through the field.
"We could use some rain, but we don't need too much of a good thing. The rain, so far, has enabled stands to come up. I haven't heard of anybody having to replant anything. Hopefully, we will have an excellent growing season. The peanut crop is off to a good start in Mississippi."
Peanut Growers Conference
The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation annual conference will be held as usual at Panama City Beach, Fla., in July, Broome said.
"We put off the decision until the last minute on whether to cancel the 22nd Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference," he said. "A lot of thought went into the decision, and we are continuing with our planning for the meeting. We're hoping by July 16, which is the first day of the meeting, that everything will be open in Florida."
Growers are currently booking rooms for the event.
"I think everybody is optimistic that we will be able to have the meeting as usual," he said. "Everything is in order to have the Peanut Growers Conference, and the program is under way and should soon be finalized."