Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Farm Bill and Weather Top the News

Well the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill is a real dog for southern producers. Our farmers need to be crying bloody murder on this one. It is nothing more than a food stamp bill. Research funded by the Commission through the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness has demonstrated the lack of a safety net for southern producers and now FAPRI which is the Food and Ag Policy Research Institute in Missouri has confirmed our worst fears.

For the first time ever in my recollection, the House has a much better deal for us than the Senate if we can just finally get out of Committee and through the House floor.

Meanwhile, at home east of I-75  in most areas Beryl dropped some much needed rain and an isolated cell moved from the northwestern GA belt southward but rainfall amounts were limited. For the heart of the Georgia belt drought conditions still continue. In the eastern production areas where acres were up the condition is better but this will not fix the ills of the drought on the final outcome. What we need is a tropical storm to come in from the Gulf and sweep across the entire GA peanut belt.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Everybody Talks About the Weather

We can talk about the weather but it is what it is. Experts had said a three in a row LaNina was not heard of but it sure is hot and dry right now. Soil moisture is down to 7% and that is not going to be solved by occasional showers. We need a major rain event.

We had peanuts planted in March and irrigated peanuts going in now and if the dry weather persists we may have peanuts planted as late as mid-June so it could be a long drawn out harvest.

I am pretty sure nobody knows what to do at this point as far as marketing so we seem to be in a hold tight mood. Chances are pretty good it will either be better or worse than we think right now which proves what Frank McGill told me when I first came to the Peanut Commission, "only a fool would predict a peanut crop before the Fourth of July."

On another note seed testing on peanuts was far higher than years past which tells me there is a search for something of adequate quality to put in the seed market. Some folks have mis-read this as an indicator of excess acres but I would lay odds everything tested will not end up in seed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Origin Discussions from International Peanut Forum

What I heard at this year's International Peanut Forum from other origins seems to follow what I hear from our growers...cost has risen and we cannot grow peanuts much cheaper than they are now. That is a new attitude from what used to be a cut-throat business only a few years back. It seems farmers worldwide have decided they need a profit, too.

On other notes, China suggested they would be using more of their peanuts for edible oil and will likely at some point become an importer of edible peanuts. India suggested a similar trend at some future point.

Meanwhile, it is hot and dry in the Southeast. A Bermuda High has set in and is keeping us from getting much needed rain to plant non-irrigated peanuts. Some models suggest it to weaken and the chance or rain to become more prominent. The problem is until we have a major rain event we are so dry a few tenths will not make the moisture meet. This has been complicated by an April filled with Summer temperatures and March like winds.

This is shaping up to be another very interesting year. Farmers without a contract at planting should watch the markets closely and keep an eye on conditions.