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Beautiful Carolina Peanuts

 

Peanut growers in the Carolinas are sitting on a beautiful crop, and Bob Sutter, Executive Director of the North Carolina Peanut Growers says producers are excited at the prospects:

“Absolutely.  I’ve traveled over a good part of the state and the crop looks excellent, and we seem to have had sufficient rains in most places, and it’s looking toward a good crop.  And it’s that way, in talking to peanut specialist all over the southeastern United States, most states have the same situation.  Excellent crop in Texas, they’ve had sufficient rains.  So, we’re looking for a good crop, and we’re going to need it.  Exports continue to climb and demand continues to rise, so we’re producing good peanuts for a pretty good peanut market.”

Bob, where are those exports going?

“Well, our number one, two and three export destinations are Canada, Mexico and China.  Mexico is a little concerned about all the noise in renegotiating NAFTA, and they’re concerned about things changing as far as peanuts coming into Mexico, so they’re actively looking for other sources.  They’d rather have US peanuts, but if things change in terms of the sales terms or the tariff terms, they may need to look elsewhere for some of their product.  But, for the most part, these three countries remain strong importers of US peanuts.”

Do the Mexicans have the capacity to possibly stockpile?

“No.  they just don’t have the storage facilities, they have to take it and process it on pretty much an as-needed basis.”

We had an acreage report come out last Friday, and I don’t think there was a lot of surprise about what it said about peanut acreage in North and South Carolina.

“No, we’re still right around 110,000 and that may be pretty correct, and in South Carolina, 115,000.  So, we increased our acres about 10% this year, and the supply situation, the inventories are down somewhat because of increased usage in the US.  We’re going to need those peanuts.”

With that being said, do you think we could be looking at an overage for the ’18 crop year?

“Well, supplies could be a bit more bountiful if we have a good crop across the United States, and I wouldn’t use the term ‘overage’ as much as I would a very sufficient supply.”

And, one thing I think we need to make a point of here; in the early days of July, we have a beautiful peanut crop, the finish line is still a ways away.

It certainly is.  And producers need to keep an eye on disease problems that may occur, insect problems that may occur, and we always have either too much rain or too little rain.  And that’s nothing new for the peanut farmer.”


rgarrison@curtismedia.com'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.