By Denise Attaway
The United States peanut market will remain in a holding pattern if producers don’t adjust to increasing yields, said experts at the 40thAnnual South Carolina Peanut Growers’ Meeting.
Peanut production increased 39 percent, but demand only increased 10 percent from 2012 to 2018.
Smith said South Carolina peanut growers can use Enterprise Budgets developed by the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service to determine what adjustments can be made on individual farms. Budgets for peanut crops are found at http://bit.ly/CES_EnterpriseBudgets
“Growers should only use these budgets as general guidelines,” Smith said. “Budgets should be developed for each farm based on that farm’s specific situation.”
Exports and cotton prices will play major roles in how the market responds.
“We need to adjust,” said Dell Cotton, manager of the Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association. “We need our exports to China to increase. We need the China/U.S. trade situation to become positive. We need consumption to increase. We need cotton prices to become stronger. We need to adjust our acres to reflect the increase in yields.”
In 2018, USDA-NASS statistics
show South Carolina growers harvested 82,000 of the 87,000 acres planted in peanuts. Yields were about 3,500 pounds per acre for 2018.
The new Farm Bill includes mandatory funding for the promotion of U.S. agricultural exports through programs such as the market access program and the foreign market development program, which might help exports.
Improvements to technology is another step South Carolina is taking to help the state’s growers compete in today’s economy. South Carolina Department of Agriculture is South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said a program is being put together that will house all agriculture data in one place.
“We are putting an emphasis on economic development,” Weathers said. “I am excited about the different programs we have going on right now. Our goal is to position agriculture in an aggressive fashion so that everyone in South Carolina benefits from this valuable resource.”
To keep peanut crops healthy, Clemson Extension peanut specialist Dan Anco
recommends using inoculants on all acres saying inoculants are “a good insurance policy.” New fungicides are coming including Lucento, Indiflin and Revysol. Another fungicide coming soon is Provost Silver. Anco said this fungicide has the same active ingredients found in Provost Opti but at higher effective levels as found in Prosaro. Fungicide Miravis was released in 2018 to treat residual leaf spot.