Good harvest year for Georgia peanuts

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It’s a good year for peanuts. Peanut yields in Georgia are coming in strong. In Moultrie, Ga., peanut production is averaging at about 4,500 pounds per acre. This is a significant increase over 2010 production when yields were about 3,900 pounds per acre, according to figures compiled by the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development.

“it’s not unheard of at this state of the year, last week when they were harvesting, to get 5,000, 6,000 pounds,” said Glenn Beard, Colquitt County Extension agent. “I’m hearing a lot of 5,000- and 6,000-pound yields. It’s dryland, irrigated, both. It’s looking real good this year.”

Peanut producers actually planted less peanuts this year than in 2011. Beard says that’s because cotton prices were strong when farmers had to decide what to plant.

Beard attributes the increase to new peanut varieties and the timing of the rain the area did receive.

Even before the majority of the peanut harvest began, officials were speculating that this year’s harvest could be one for the record books. Weather conditions have been ideal. Some are projecting that this year’s harvest could beat the record set in 2009.

Georgia growers planted 725,000 acres of peanuts this year, to take advantage of a tight market promising good prices. Experts say this bumper crop could shatter the 2009 state record, with a potential of averaging 4000 pounds per acre.

University of Georgia Extension Peanut agronomist John Beasley, Ph.D., said "Never been thought of before. In fact we would break a record set just 3 years ago in '09 when the state average yield record was 3,560 pounds per acre. And now we are talking about 400 to 500 pounds more than that."

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