After a slow and soggy start to peanut harvest, the dust is flying across North Florida. Here is a short video from the Starling Farm in Suwannee County. The peanuts were dug in good soil moisture and much of that soil dries around the plant roots. The job of the combine head is to knock some of that soil off as it pulls the vines into the header, and this one is doing a good job. The Federal-State Inspection Service which examines every load of peanuts harvested has reported about 461,000 tons of peanuts inspected as of Friday afternoon. That is only about 20% of the anticipated crop. Farmers and buying points are currently reporting shortages of trailers to haul the crop from the field. The Starling’s said they waited 6 hours at the buying point before getting an empty trailer to return to the farm. I was at a farm on Saturday where all the pickers and dump carts were sitting full of peanuts in the middle of the day, waiting for trucks. I’m hearing that the Williston,FL area is mostly finished with harvest. We are probably 80% finished locally. Late leaf spot is pretty severe on the last remaining peanuts, and farmers are trying to get those dug and out of the ground before the peanuts come loose from the vines.
The USDA Ag Statistics Service recently released an October Peanut Crop Estimate. This report is only slightly changed from the September estimate, with an increase in the average national yield from 3,800 to 3,812 pounds per acre. This increase is primarily a result of higher yield expectations in South Carolina.
Current yield estimates (pounds per acre) include: Alabama, 3000; Florida, 3900; Georgia, 4000; Mississippi, 3500; New Mexico, 3100; North Carolina, 4000; Oklahoma, 3800; South Carolina, 3800; Texas, 3850; and Virginia, 4,200.