What is in this article?:
- Former Peanut Profitability winners saw record crops in 2012
- Looking ahead to 2013
- Overall very fortunate
• Despite flooding from Tropical Storm Debby, Terry Farms of Lake City, Fla., the Peanut Profitability winner for the Lower Southeast, still averaged 4,800 pounds per acre from about 160 acres.
• Joe D. White, Southwest winner said his average yield hit 5,300 pounds per acre and average grade was 72. “That’s about as good a crop as I’ve ever had,” he added.
• Last year was one to remember, says Luray, S.C., grower Bud Bowers who won the Peanut Profitability Award for the Upper Southeast.
2012 UPPER SOUTHEAST PEANUT Profitability winner Bud Bowers says last year was his best season ever for peanuts.
Overall very fortunate
“Overall, we were very fortunate.” He said late cotton didn’t mature as well as he would have liked and resulted in some lower mic.
He also had some peanuts with sound splits. “And I don’t know why. Maybe it was a little drier than usual at harvest.” He said splits affect his seed contracts.
White was through harvest by late November, a first for his operation. “I’ve never finished before December,” he said.
Last year was one to remember, says Luray, S.C., grower Bud Bowers.
“It was across-the-board on all our crops, the best year we’ve ever had farming, but it sure didn’t start out that way,” he notes.
Bowers, who was the Upper Southeast Peanut Profitability winner last year, plants mostly Virginia-type peanuts, but also plants some runner varieties as well. He plants some of his Virginia type peanuts in a twin-row planting and plants some under irrigation and some dryland.
“Last year it didn’t matter, we had dryland peanuts that out-yielded irrigated peanuts in some fields. Overall, we will probably end up with more than 5,000 pounds per acre average yield on all our peanuts. In some fields, we will end up with 6,000 pounds per acre,” he says.
Thinking back to last May, he says he wondered if he would ever get all his peanuts and cotton planted. Drought at peak planting time, even with irrigation, slowed down the planting process on both crops.
Bowers, who uses an innovative system of soil probes to measure available moisture to his crops, says Mother Nature took over in the summer months and provided excellent moisture during the growing season, then provided warm, dry harvest-time weather. The end result was a really good crop, he says.
Peanuts were good, but cotton, his primary crop for a number of years, was even better.
“We had some dryland fields that topped three bales per acre last year. In both cotton and peanuts, moisture was not a limiting factor on yield and quality of the crop,” he adds.
Fortunately, he had most of his peanuts under contract before he put the crop in the ground. Still, with such high yields, he will have some extra peanuts this year. In most years, that’s a good problem to have, but not this year.
“I don’t know what we (peanut growers) are going to do with all these peanuts. I really feel sorry for all those growers who planted peanuts without a contract.
“Some of those folks are going to be in a really bad situation going into planting time next year,” Bowers says.
Next year, he says, he will have to see what contracts are available, before he can plan how many acres of peanuts to plant.
“I feel like the buyers will step up and offer contracts competitive with other crops, but I don’t have a good feel for how many of those contracts will be offered,” he says.
Though peanuts and cotton has been a good rotation for him for the past several years, the instability of cotton prices makes it a high risk to plant, too.
Bowers says he will probably plant more corn next year, but peanuts and cotton present a lot more questions than answers for next year, he adds.
(You can read the complete stories of these three operations and many more by clicking here).