Updated acreage and predicted crop yield estimates have been released by USDA in the August 12, 2013 Crop Production report. The report can be found here. Crop Production. A national average yield of 3,620 lbs per acre is predicted. Total Production is predicted to be 1.924 million tons from 1.06 million harvested acres.
This report DID NOT change the planted/harvested acres from the previously released Planting Intentions report.
Using the previously released demand numbers, carryout is reduced to a more manageable 841,000 tons from the previous carryout of 1.22 million tons in 2012/2013.
I did a brief analysis on the back of my lunch sack. My “untrained” estimate is production of 1.77 million tons from 1.018 million harvested acres leading to a carryout of 700,000 tons. After discussions with buying point manager, farmers, and FSA office staff, I believe actual planted acres are lower than the report suggests. However, absent any future calamity, there will be sufficient carryout. Therefore, I don’t expect fireworks at harvest this year, if, we can stay on track for a 3,600 pound/acre average. Things shouldn’t be very tight regardless if the planted acres are overestimated a few percent or not. However, significatly lower yields could “rock the boat.” Locally, I heard there were offers from shellers prior to the release of this report. Farmers were intrigued by the offer, but wanted to see what numbers were in this report. They certainly didn’t expect the crop to get “bigger” in this report. The larger story may be the available acres to plant in the Southeast in 2014 with corn prices in the tank. It doesn’t currently appear peanuts will need to “battle” for acres in the spring which should keep a lid on prices.
I have asked around to get a feel for the acreage and condition of the peanut crop. I have heard very similar conditions for the Alabama crop as well as Southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. The story there is that it won’t be a record crop due to early wetness, but widespread rain in August will keep final yields respectable. Some information about the Georgia peanut crop is shared in several links below.
Our experience in 2012 with 40″ of rain in 30 days was that peanuts did not recover to reach high yields. However areas on the fringe of these rainfall events saw record yields. We also found that inability to get in fields was not evident until the end of the year with late onset of disease , particularly late leaf spot. We have an excellent crop here, growing under optimum conditions on our deep sandy soils. However it is dependent on August rain as most every irrigated field was planted to corn this year. Here is a map of the previous 60 days rainfall, and a map of where the Georgia-Florida-Alabama “peanut belt” is located. The area of 20-25″ rainfall appears to be the greatest concern. Appriximately 50% of the U.S. peanut crop is grown within 100 miles of Dothan, Alabama, which is the center of that 20″+ rainfall area.
I’m no economist, but this is a quick review of how things look from the report and local conditions. Check out the report for yourself, and let me know what you are seeing in your backyard.