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Alabama Peanut Acreage Could Eclipse Last Year’s Total

Clint Thompson Alabama, Peanuts

Peanut Trade Show

By Clint Thompson

Alabama’s peanut producers farmed an estimated 186,000 acres last year. Jacob Davis, executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, is fearful this year’s crop may exceed those totals.

“We’ve been 180,000-plus the last two years. We’re expecting to at least stay flat if not increase a little bit this year,” Davis said. “The biggest cost increase that I’ve heard farmers talk about is fertilizer. With fertilizer prices doubling and tripling in some instances, peanuts are a legume, so they don’t require nitrogen. That could be a way that farmers try to mitigate expenses. That’s my fear is that farmers choose to plant more peanuts and then we overplant and oversupply. That’ll hurt them with the price they’re going to get at the end of the season. That’s my fear going into it is that farmers decide to overplant because of those input costs.”

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Jacob Davis

Davis said demand is in place to satisfy supply but only if acres don’t increase.

“We’ve seen record per capita consumption from people in the United States domestically. Our exports are still holding at about 30%. I think we’ve got the demand to meet a flat crop year, as long as production stays about the same and we don’t have bad droughts or weather that impacts our crop progress. I think if we stayed flat, we’d still be in good shape,” Davis said.

Davis still implores farmers to stick to their rotations but understands that a grower has to do what is in their best interest.

“Stick to their rotations, that’s what we’re trying to encourage them to do if at all possible. Each one of them is running a business, (though) and they’ve got to make business decisions that are in their best interest,” Davis said.