U.S. peanut production for 2009 is estimated at 3.69 billion pounds, (1,844,175 tons) up 2 percent from earlier forecasts but down 29 percent from 2008, according to the latest USDA estimate.

Planted area is estimated at 1.12 million acres, down 27 percent from 2008. Area harvested is estimated at 1.08 million acres, down 28 percent from the previous crop year. Yields are estimated at 3,412 pounds per acre, up 59 pounds from the previous forecast, but down 14 pounds from 2008.

Production in the Southeast states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina, is estimated at 2.79 billion pounds, up 2 percent from the previous forecast but down 27 percent from 2008. Planted area is estimated at 851,000 acres, down 25 percent from 2008.

Harvested area in the Southeast is estimated at 828,000 acres, down 25 percent from the previous crop year. Yields in the region are estimated at 3,373 pounds per acre, up 39 pounds from the previous forecast but 60 pounds lower than the 2008 average yield.

Yields were down or unchanged from the previous crop year in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina. However, in Georgia, the leading peanut-producing state, yield is a record-high 3,530 pounds per acre. Timely rains during the growing season, new varieties and low disease and insect pressure contributed to Georgia’s record yield.

Virginia-North Carolina production is estimated at 289 million pounds, up slightly from the previous forecast but down 34 percent from 2008. Planted area is estimated at 79,000 acres, down 35 percent from the previous crop year. Area for harvest, which is estimated at 78,000 acres, is down 36 percent from 2008. The average yield is estimated at 3,700 pounds per acre, up 15 pounds from the previous forecast and up 69 pounds from 2008. A record-high yield is estimated in Virginia and yield in North Carolina is tied with the previous record-high set in 2008.