We’ve reached that point in the spring where we’re just waiting, mainly on the weather. Clemson Extension Peanut Specialist Dr. Scott Monfort at Edisto Research& Education Center in Blackville:
“In SC we have been idle due to the weather and trying to figure out what crops we will grow over all. Prices have been going up and down. People knew they were going to plant X number of acres of corn, but that has changed a bit, but not a lot. For peanuts, we have been waiting on some contracts so we can lock in some acres. We know that we are going to be down in peanuts, but how much is still up in the air. We are getting some good contracts with Virginia, and have contracted most of our Virginia acres.”
Monfort says $550 a ton has been the median contract offered for Virginias. As far as runner peanuts go, contract prices have been all over the board, and Monfort says a few growers are opting to grow without a contract.
As anticipated, peanut acres in South Carolina may be lost to cotton acres due to price says Monfort:
“We hope to not be down more than 25,000 acres from last year, and that would put us in the 70-75,000 range. It would be good for us to stay in that range. We could be higher but we’ll have to wait and see. The cotton market is toying with 90 cents right now and if it goes over that, people may go to cotton more than they will extra peanuts.”
As is the case in most of the southeast, corn planter in South Carolina remain idle says Monfort:
“We are extremely cool compared to last year and a typical year. We are still in the high 30s at night and if that moves out and we warm up, people will be planting corn as soon as they can.”
And the winter wheat would really benefit from some warmer weather as well:
“We really need that crop to start growing and growing well. The cool weather has been hindering that.”
Clemson University Extension Peanut Specialist Dr. Scott Monfort.