Peanut acreage declined in 2013 for all peanut producing regions of the U.S. In 2012, Arkansas had 18,000 acres and this year an estimated 11,000 acres, which was slightly higher than early estimates projected. The decline in acreage was related to lower peanut contract prices, high corn and soybean prices, and cold wet conditions that delayed planting. Last year peanut acreage was contracted at $750/ton and this year $550/ton for high-oleic runner peanut. Some growers are hoping prices will improve, so they have opted to contract only a portion of their acres. The Arkansas peanut crop is 100% planted and planting dates were about two to three weeks later than 2012.
A few Spanish peanut acres were planted in 2013 as some of the last peanuts planted in Arkansas. Spanish have fewer days to maturity than runners giving growers an option to plant late and harvest at the same time as earlier planted runners. Also, stimulating Spanish acreage was a higher contact price, $650/ton. High-oleic GA 09B and low-oleic GA 06G are the two most commonly grown runners in Arkansas with a few acres of high-oleic FL 07 and FloRun 107.
The widespread use of in-furrow insecticides and fungicides at-planting has minimized thrips injury and seedling diseases. Overall, this year’s crop is good to excellent with no major issues, but there are several months to go before harvest.