Peanut planting will increase - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Peanut planting will increase

Worth County Peanut farmer Henry Mims Worth County Peanut farmer Henry Mims
Nathan Smith, UGA Extension peanut economist Nathan Smith, UGA Extension peanut economist
WORTH CO., GA (WALB) -

Georgia farmers are expected to plant more peanuts this year, after reducing their acreage last year.  Last year's haul of South Georgia peanuts was down, but the yield per acre was one of the highest ever.

Georgia peanut farmers produced good numbers last year despite some challenges.

"With cooler temps and wetter than normal conditions, we ended up with the second best yield in Georgia. So over 4,400 pounds per acre," said Nathan Smith, UGA Extension peanut economist.

Worth County Peanut farmer Henry Mims says he didn't plant as much as usual last year. "But we had a good yield on what we done, but it was a small acreage but way below average of what we had been doing," said Mims.

 2013 yields were down from the previous year's record, and peanut prices were also down, well below $500 per ton. 2013 crop ended up 2 million tons of total production for the U.S. Which ended up being a pretty good size crop, given the amount of acres that was reduced from 2012. "Georgia was down 41% in acres which was a significant decline," said Smith.

Henry Mims says the weather was a challenge for him and his crops. "After all the drought years in the 70s and on into the 80s, it was the wettest year. I farmed for about 35 years. It's probably the wettest year I experienced," said Mims.

Mims says it's a too early to say what kind of year 2014 will turn out to be. "Watching the market. We go on into April before we make a decision on how many peanuts we're going to plan or not plant," said Mims.

With proper management of crops during planting and harvest, economists say they expect an increase in acreage by 15% from 2013. Demand for peanuts in America this year is expected to rise.

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