virginia peanut forecast year

Virginia peanut forecast is up this year

peanutAccording to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia peanut growers anticipate a 6.6 percent increase in their harvest this year, totaling 78 million pounds. Producers are expected to harvest 20,000 acres, up 1,000 from last year.

“The peanut crop was off to a later start than usual because of the cool, wet spring, but it is back on track now,” said Daryl Butler, senior district field services director for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, who also raises peanuts in Isle Of Wight County.

The VDACS forecast also said producers expect a yield of 3,900 pounds per acre, up 50 pounds per acre from 2015.

“Fifteen years ago, Virginia was producing peanuts on nearly 100,000 acres, but this year they were planted on 20,000 acres. In spite of that, we have seen a significantly improved yield because of improvement in varieties, research and development, techniques and rotations,” Butler said. “Top producers in Southampton County averaged more than 6,000 pounds per acre for each of the past two years. That was unheard of in 2000.”

Still, Butler cautioned that the weather is the largest variable in actual yields.
“There are peanut-growing areas in Virginia that actually need rain and others that have had too much rain, but overall the outlook is good,” he said.

Southeast Virginia boasts the ideal climate and soil conditions for peanut production, and peanut-producing localities include Dinwiddie, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Prince George, Southampton, Surry and Sussex counties and the city of Suffolk. Specialty food companies across the state produce many peanut-based edibles.

News Desk

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