Friday, July 24, 2009

July 24, 2009, What Will the Peanut Crop Be?

I spent some time this morning with my video camera and digital camera on a 40 mile trek through Crisp, Turner, and Tift Counties. I think this is at least a snapshot of the condition of the Georgia Peanut Crop this year at this time. Last week I was through the Southwest corner of the state and earlier in the week through Dougherty and Worth Counties and I am seeing a lot of this everywhere. I am hearing much the same as what you will see in these pictures from farmers across the state. I think the farmers who may be in the best shape in the end will be in one of two categories, either the guys who contracted but have a superior handle on cost of production or the average and above producer who did not contract peanuts. Save a miracle I personally have to believe that prices have to move upward once the 2008 surplus is out of the loan. USDA reduced the repayment rate significantly this week and this should help the situation a lot. I had the opportunity to visit with Scott Sanford after his presentation at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference and I am well convinced that his heart is for the farmers and he wants to find a way to make this program work for them.

Click here to view the video on crop progress.

Here are a few pictures:

Strip tilled in a cotton/corn field with a skip by the yellow bucket.

Same field but looks good just very late. Good farmer with good weed control.

Planted at more normal planting date but weedy and still not lapping the middles.

This field was planted partially and then a delay and the rest planted. Drown outs, skips, kind of the rule.

Same field...note the lack of uniformity in the field and these rows were planted at the same time. Also look at how late we are.

Same field, skips, variation, just a tough situation right now.

A clean field but notice even the best producers have skips and drown outs and especially a late crop to contend with. I have to wonder if we could measure the skips and down outs what that would further reduce acres in Georgia.

This is a late planted soybean field but pretty clean and demonstrates how when the planting season passed peanuts by farmers shifted to beans because the risk was less and the perceived reward greater. Plus they have Roundup Ready Technology.

A more mature, early planted soybean field. You can see the weeds are a bit more of a problem here as they are in all of our crops this year it seems.

This part of this peanut field drowned out and had to be re-planted. Notice he dropped in the middle of the row on part of it. How will he decide what to do at harvest on those 8 rows? Uniformity is a big issue in a lot of fields this year.

This is how peanuts should look in late July. What a beautiful field of peanuts but this is far and away the exception rather than the rule in Georgia this year. The weather has not been terribly kind to us. It is amazing what the combination of rain and irrigation can do. I truly believe we are less than 40% irrigated in peanuts this year.

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