As the peanut season comes to an end, how did the south Georgia crop fair?

As the peanut season comes to an end, how did the south Georgia crop fair?
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The peanut harvest is just about complete in South Georgia. WALB spoke to an expert in peanut farming on how the 2022 yield has been.

“It looks good right now. We are finishing up. It’s been kind of a tough year for a majority of our growers. We’ve had some ups and downs this year,” UGA State Extension Peanut Agronomist, Dr. Scott Monfort said. “The yields are down, the grades are down a little bit, due to our quality. That grower can get paid off. But overall I’m, it’s a good average year, but it’s just not what we were expecting.”

Now the question is the price. It cost a lot to grow this crop. What’s it look like for the farmers? Obviously, it’s very important for the south Georgia economy as well. How they are going to get paid?

“Well you know that’s one thing we were pleased with. The fact that a lot of growers had some opportunities to obtain some higher contracts this year. Because fertilizer, diesel, and all the inputs that they use to grow this crop did go up this year significantly,” Dr. Monfort said. “So we were glad to see the crop did go up this year significantly. So we were glad to see the commodity prices did follow that. Not just for peanuts but for cotton and corn as well. But the problem is, sometimes even though we have higher contract prices, input costs are so expensive it still keeps us and keeps the grower at such a minimal margin for them to make some money at the end of the season and be able to pay their bills. And so it’s been tough. Salt to the wound was the fact that we are down about, if you look at the state average, I’m willing to guess that we are going to be down 300 or 400 pounds from last year. Maybe it’s not that much, but it’s going to, it’s still going to be down. And you take some of the growers that normally yield 6500 to 7000 pounds. They are barely making our 5000 pounds, so a lot of these areas are down from 500 to 7000 pounds. So that also takes off of that potential profit that they could have made. So it is just kind of salt to the wound that we did not make the crop that we anticipated.”