This Year's Peanut Harvest Could Yield The Largest Crop Yet - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

This Year's Peanut Harvest Could Yield The Largest Crop Yet

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According to the USDA, it takes about 2.1 million tons of peanuts to meet the nation's demand of peanuts. And this year they're predicting a yield close to 3 million tons of peanuts. This is because farmers decided to plant many more acres of peanuts this year.

"Farmers were generally thinking with a short supply and good prices this year going into 2012 crop, we should expect extremely good prices for 2012...which is not the case," says Ken Barton, Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association.

Increased acreage and ideal weather conditions means an increased yield, which is having a huge affect on how much money a producer can make..

"Now the price has dropped to 355 a ton back to the producer," says Jackson County farmer Jeffery Pittman, owner of J.J. Farms. He didn't increase his acreage this year. He also forward priced his peanut crop, meaning he's guaranteed a certain price for a portion of his peanuts. But still...

"It looks like with the yields that we are at today, we'll sell some peanuts at the lower price." A price that is almost 400 dollars less than what he is guaranteed to get for a portion of his crop.

As for next year's planting of the crop, Pittman says he's sure farmers won't plant as many peanuts. Executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association agrees.

"I feel sure that next year farmers won't plant nearly enough peanuts because the demand for peanuts will go down from a peanut farmer perspective."

Harvesting will continue through October and could last into early November.