The U.S. planting projection has increased 2020 peanut acreage estimates, according to Scott Monfort, Extension peanut agronomist at the University of Georgia. Monfort, along with other state specialists who sent in reports, provided a 2020 U.S. peanut crop overview at the online USA Peanut Congress in June.
"In total, the U.S. planted acreage estimate for peanuts is 1.586 million, which is a 12% increase. With some rain and sunshine, it looks like we are going to bounce the peanut inventory back up again," Monfort said.
Monfort began the overview by providing peanut crop information from his home state of Georgia; across peanut-producing states, farmers have had similar planting concerns.
As of June 1, Georgia peanut farmers were between 85% to 90% planted.
"We like to be through planting peanuts by now, but some years, we plant quite a bit into June, and this has been one of those years for some growers," Monfort said. "If it weren't for all the rain, we probably would have been finished by now. It's been a bumpy ride so far. We started planting in early to mid-April for some areas and then into May. From early April to early May, it was cool and wet, outside of the norm. We somewhat anticipated that, but not into early May."
The poor planting season weather caused some stand issues as well as seed rot.
"Now in early June, we're experiencing more seed quality issues," he said. "The cultivars we're growing are mainly GA-06G (+85%), GA-16HO, TifNV High OL, TUFRunner 297, FloRun 331.
"Some of the major concerns at this point include dealing with yield potential because of where stands are right now. Stands are less now than they have been in previous years. Where we usually get four to five, maybe five-and-a-half plants per foot, we are struggling to get three-and-a-half to four this year in many peanut fields."
Tomato spotted wilt virus is also a potential problem in reduced stands.
"We have a wetter and warmer season approaching, so disease is likely to be a problem across the states," Monfort said. "Even so, I'm optimistic. The good news is most of the crop looks good so far, and it seems to be progressing nicely."
Thrips pressure has been extremely heavy too, Monfort said.
"Depending on your seed source, some companies were unlucky this year and had some seed quality issues, especially late-planted peanuts," he said. "The ugly truth is we have seen stands for GA-06G quite a bit lower than we would like it to be. Although final stands have been lower across all varieties, newer varieties do seem to have better vigor compared to GA-06G."
Arkansas and Mississippi update
The peanut planting season across the Mid-South states varied some. Travis Faske, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Extension plant pathologist, and Brendan Zurweller, Mississippi State University Extension peanut specialist and research professor, reported on the Delta peanut crop.
"Arkansas acreage is going to be 35,000 and about 10,000 in Missouri," Monfort reported. "They were 80% planted as of the first part of June, and growers are trying not to plant in June because the late-season rains can hurt the crop quite a bit. Arkansas has had poor weather this planting season, similar to last year, which ended with poor harvest conditions."
Stand issues were twofold since planting too early in cool, wet conditions persisted for April and poor seed quality for some standard and high oleic seed in May also affected stands.
The main cultivars planted include 80% standard (Georgia 06G) and 20% high oleic (Georgia 09B, TUFRunner 297, and FloRun 331).
The main concern for growers in Arkansas is farmers who wanted to replant are unable to get seed promptly, according to Faske's report.
"Brendan Zurweller said Mississippi acreage is most likely in the 23,000- to 24,000-acre range, which is up 20 to 25% from last year," Monfort said. "They were close to being completely planted by the first week of June, and their planting weather has been pretty favorable for much of the state this year, especially compared to last season."
There were a few fields with stand issues.
"They were planted right before a cold snap that got down to low 40s at night for a few days with about a half inch of rain," Monfort said. "That, in combination with planting too deep (2 inches or greater), was likely the issue. However, peanuts planted shallower before the cold snap had acceptable stands.