It’s finally spring, and the fight for acres is about to get very interesting, and contracts for peanut growers have been very competitive in order to keep peanut growers growing peanuts. Executive Director, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association, Bob Sutter:
“We are looking at contracts this year that are considerably better than they were last year because they are indeed competing for acres. We are seeing peanut contracts in the area of $625 to $650 per ton, with some reports of more. But, the manufacturers have to have a certain amount of peanuts, we are looking in 2011, we’re looking for similar acres planted in North Carolina. We had 85,000 last year, and I’d be surprised if we had much less than that.”
While being an eternal optimist is just part of being a farmer, Sutter feels that optimism among the farming community is exceptionally high this year:
“When you look at all the prices, for all the commodities, this is a time if we can have a halfway decent yield this year, where farmers can put themselves in a better financial condition because of some pretty rough years in the past. Last year was not a stellar year in terms of yields in peanuts and some other crops, they’ve got some debt that they need to pay down, and hopefully we can take advantage of the better prices for all the commodities to try to right that financial ship.”
And it’s Sutter’s opinion that farmers are in the best financial shape they’ve been in, in a long while:
“Well, USDA is predicting farm income to be higher than it’s ever been, and because of that ….it's the prices. So, when you talk about being in the best financial shape, we’re not talking about individuals, we’re talking on average and you know when you talk about average, you’ve got somebody higher and somebody lower so, we’re hoping we can increase the average income this year for everybody.”
We’ll hear more from Bob Sutter, Executive Director, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association tomorrow on Today’s Topic.