The price of peanuts is up - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

The price of peanuts is up

Georgia farmers are expected to produce the smallest crop of peanuts in more than two decades because of bad weather and a shift toward other crops.

As a result, the price of peanuts is up.

That is good news for farmers, but it could be bad news for you if you like peanut products.

A Tift County farmer is one of the lucky ones. He is optimistic that he will yield a good peanut crop. And says irrigation is the reason.

South Georgia farmers will begin picking peanuts soon, but they'll pick a lot fewer than usual.

"This year we have the least amount of peanuts, acre wise, planted in the state that we have had since I think 1982," says Wes Shannon, Tift County Peanut Farmer.

Tift County farmer Wes Shannon usually plants 200 acres of peanuts, but this year he only planted 160 acres.

"This has been a tough year from the beginning, warm temperatures during the spring and very dry," says Shannon.

 Many farmers planted more corn and cotton this year. Many of the peanuts they did plant didn't do well because weather conditions were so bad.

"Some of the vines do not have as many peanuts on them as we like, burned some of the pegs off, the ground was so hot, even on some of the irrigated land, we do not have the crop we would have, had it been a good rainfall year," says Shannon.

But Shannon is happy he stuck with peanuts, now more than ever because the small crop could mean higher prices for his peanuts.

"It is very good that the price of peanuts is up because if not, we would have one of those disasters, economic disasters, where we spent the money to make the crop and the returns just are not there," says Shannon.

He says he needs good returns because it cost so much to irrigate this year.

To cover his 160 acres of peanuts with one inch of water, it costs him about $2,400.

"To put an inch of water is very expensive and that is the benchmark to do a crop some good," says Shannon.

As an eternal optimist, he says he is looking forward to a better peanut season next year.

Wes Shannon says he is cautiously optimistic because he doesn't really know what kind of harvest he has, until he plows it up from the ground.

He will start harvesting peanuts by the end of this week.

You should get ready for a jolt at the grocery store.

The makers of Jif peanut butter have said they expect to raise prices by 30-percent because of higher peanut costs.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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