Planting Intentions

According to USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, U.S. peanut growers intend to plant 1,751,000 acres this year, up 5 percent from last year’s 1,671,000 acres. The expected increase is largely driven by expectations of higher contract prices.

Georgia is expected to increase acreage by 9 percent or 785,000 acres, but is slightly less than some in the industry had predicted at 10 to 15 percent.

Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist, says, “We typically grow in the neighborhood of 500,000 to 600,000 acres, and that’s where we need to be. But with the positive price the way it is, and overall marketplace, growers are trying to make a profit. That’s why we’re growing as many as we are.”

Continued Short Rotations

Increased acreage also means a continuation of shortened crop rotations. Monfort estimates that about 20 percent of the peanuts will be produced under a shortened rotation.

“Peanuts have to be grown on a longer rotation — three to four years between peanut crops — to effectively minimize disease and insect pressure,” he says.

Alabama and Florida are predicted to increase 9 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Florida had reduced acreage 30 percent the previous year, but is now predicted to be back up to an estimated 170,000 acres. Alabama is predicted to increase from 175,000 acres to 190,000 acres.

South Carolina is predicted to increase 23 percent to 135,000 acres, a new record.
The largest decline in acreage is in Texas, down 30 percent to 240,000 acres. Last year, a considerable number of acres were planted to receive the Price Loss Coverage payment, but with higher prices, that practice is not likely in 2017. Other states expect small increases.

Cotton

Growers intend to plant 12.2 million acres in 2017, up 21 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the highest planted acreage since 2012. Upland area is expected to total 12.0 million acres, up 21 percent from 2016. American Pima area is expected to total 232,000 acres, up 19 percent from 2016. Expectations of higher cotton prices in 2017 are driving the acreage increase throughout the Cotton Belt.

Growers in all states, except Florida, are expected to increase planted acreage from last year. Oklahoma Upland planted area is expected to be the highest since 1982. Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas Upland planted area is expected to be the highest since 2011.

Corn

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2017 is estimated at 90.0 million acres, down 4 percent or 4.0 million acres from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected down or unchanged in 38 of the 48 states.

Soybean

Soybean planted area for 2017 is estimated at a record high of 89.5 million acres, up 7 percent from last year.