Carolina Peanut Harvest Stumbles on Frost

Peanuts were one of those crops on the short list of crops remaining in the field that could have seen some adverse effects from Hurricane Sandy, as well as the cold snap that followed. NC State Extension Peanut Specialist Dr. David Jordan:

“The last two weeks have been quite good and what we do know is that growers today do have equipment that can get them in and out of the field fairly quickly. So a lot of peanuts were dug before the last two weeks and then once we got some dry weather folks were able to get the rest. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t some still out there, but the bulk are dug and harvested.”

While last year’s crop was one for the record books, Jordan feels this year’s crop may not yield as high, but close:

“Our yields should be close to last year but just a little lower. Right now its hard to tell, we don’t have all of the results in. Its been a very good crop, it just may not be the record crop we had last year. But the crop may grade as good or better than last year just because of the way the crop matured and in most cases folks were able to get the peanuts out in a timely manner. We will definitely have an above average crop compared to over the last five years. One thing we are seeing is that our yields have been high for a while now so we are running into a new average. So we may have fields that are average in our new high category.”

2011 contract prices weren’t that great, but near crop failures in top producing states of Georgia and Texas drove prices sky high for producers that had production above contract obligations. Jordan says that’s not likely to be the case this year:

“There are some peanuts out there not under contract and with our high yields there are going to be some peanuts that farmers even with contracts are not going to get that high price. I don’t know all the details but in most cases farmers did not contract all of the pounds. Farmers tend to contract some because they want the high price, but they don’t want to end up short on a contract. A lot will have some extra peanuts that will go for lower than $700 per ton, unlike last year where anyone that had extra peanuts approached $1100 per ton. Its just a different quantity situation this year so there isn’t a great need for the extra peanuts.”

Jordan says that this year’s crop has been relatively problem free:

“We didn’t see any specific problems. The weather was the biggest thing and folks were able to work around it for the most part and get the crop out. We didn’t have any diseases that snuck up on us and this week is the first we’ve had a big threat of frost.” is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.