By Will Jordan
Adverse weather conditions were a major factor for Alabama’s peanut crop last year. Still, crop quality prevailed at harvest.
Early season cool weather conditions pushed delayed plantings with added thrips pressure and more tomato spotted wilt virus, following trends the last two years. The state’s peanut producers finished with 163,000 acres in 31 counties, with an estimated yield of 3,400 pounds per acre.
Kris Balkcom, Alabama Peanut Agronomics Specialist, emphasized the importance of farmers producing strong yields to cover today’s inflated input expenses.
“We were so dry in the fall that we were able to harvest a lot of that crop that was hurt so bad from the summer growing season where it was hot and dry, before we got any of the rains during harvest,” said Balkcom. “Had rain come earlier it would have created a lot of aflatoxin issues and given us a lot of damage to the crop.
“Number one, peanuts are a resilient crop… considering the weather we got this year… quality wise and yield wise, it could have been far worse.”