The Texas peanut crop took advantage of July rainfall that was “perfect timing,” says Shelly Nutt, Executive Director, Texas Peanut Producers Board in Lubbock.
“Yields in the areas that got that July rain will be better,” Nutt says. “That rain just soaked into the soil.”
She says yield potential across the state looks good.
Nutt says early sheller reports indicate good grades and excellent maturity. “We have heard of no quality problems early on,” Nutt says. “We were a bit concerned that the rainy, cool July would delay maturity, but the crop is set, mature and ready to come out.”
She says some growers have reported pod rot that may have been favored by cool, moist conditions in July, but says few other production problems have shown up so far. “Farmers may see some unusual problems from the rainy July.”
Hockley County Extension agent Chris Edens says peanuts look good in his county with early yield reports coming in above 4,000 pounds per acre.
Edens says acreage for the county is down significantly, 3,000 acres, down from 6,000 last year. “It will be hard to hold that acreage next year,” he says, “if cotton prices stay up. It’s not peanut prices that are keeping acreage down. We had pretty good contracts last spring, $500 to $550 a ton for runners, but farmers still have to look at the bottom line.”
He said they also need to maintain a sound rotation.
Nutt says acreage statewide is about 159,000, “up a fraction from last year.” But that’s significantly lower than earlier National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates, which pegged the crop at close to 165,000 acres.