Midway of the 2022 peanut harvest, farmers are disappointed and worried about the peanut harvest and the future. 

                The disappointment is in the early yields and grades indicating production problems had caused the crop to be smaller.  More Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) was evident and a persistent dry period early in the season and again after the hurricane in the Southeast.  Dry land acres harvesting has almost shutdown until it rains.  

                The worry is how much this crop will cost and if there be a profit when it’s over.  Disease and insect pressure are present.  Lower than expected grades and lower yields chip away at any profits.

                Reports continue mentioning lower than expected SE yields due to excessive hot weather in June and farmer-stock reported to have shrunken kernels and lack of maturity due to dry weather.  SE was hoping for soaking rains from the hurricane to soften the soil, but rains didn’t materialize in the peanut belt.  The crop harvest is extremely dusty and excess dirt clods are slowing down the cleaning of farmer-stock peanuts. 

                Although the U.S. peanut market remains relatively quiet, farmer stock offers jumped to $600 per ton for un-contracted tonnage.   Most farmers had settled for $500-$550 per ton in the Spring as financial lenders wanted something on the books.  The VC region had supported $600-$625 per ton early.

                  The Price Loss Coverage payments are made when the market year average (MYA) is below the reference price.  Payments cannot be made until after October 1, 2022.  The MYA for Market Year Average is based on the Average Prices paid to farmers for last year (Aug2021-July2022).  The Peanut Market Year average (MYA) last year was $.2430 per pound or $486 per ton.

              The effective reference price for peanut is $.2675 per pound or $535 per ton. The higher of the loan rate ($.1775 per lb or $355 per ton) or Market Price Average ($486 per ton) is deducted from the Reference Price ($575 per ton) whichever is highest to equal the PLC payment or $49 per ton.  This payment can only be applied to 85% of the peanut farm base.  Farm Service Agency will verify and make the payment to the farmer during October, 2022.

                USDA estimated the crop totals at 2,924,850 tons in 2022, down 6 percent from the previous forecast and down 8 percent from 2021.  Planted area at 1.46 million is down 8 percent from 2021 planted area.  Area harvested is expected to total 1.41 million acres, down 6 percent from the previous forecast and down 9 percent from 2021.  The average yield for the United States is forecast at 4,145 pounds per acre, up 16 pounds per acre from the previous forecast and up 10 pounds per acre from 2021. Record high yields are forecast for Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. 

                These estimates were made in September and expected to be much lower in October. The year-long drought in the Southwest will increase abandoned acres plus officials estimate that at least 40% of the Texas crop will see a big yield loss.  Virginia has hit a dry spell just before harvest and the nationwide drought will continue to plague this 2022 crop.

                Peanut usage for the 12- month period August 21 til July 22 is down only 0.6%. Peanut butter dropped 4.2% for July and down 2.7% for the year.  Candy was up 13.1 percent and snack peanuts showed a 4.0% decrease. 

                The National Peanut Board is tracking consumer trends and reports that taste, price and familiarity continue to drive consumer purchases.  Another trend was consumers believe that individual food and beverage choices impact the environment.  How the food impacts their health is an issue along with an increasing habit of snacking all day.  Peanuts and peanut butter are winners in this study.

                Peanut exports are down 9.3 percent January thru July, 2022.  Mexico and Canada continue to make major purchases.  China has declined during this period by 45% compared to last year.  The trend is good on buying U.S. peanuts.  During this 7 month stretch and compared to same one year ago, major buyers include The Netherlands (up 17%), Germany (Up 53%), Japan (UP 23%) and South Korea (Up 75%).

                The Chinese buyers are already busy with Argentina and Brazil peanuts.  The Chinese need more for peanut oil production, however the $600 per ton farmer stock may cause them to look elsewhere.  Prices for raw shelled peanuts keep inching higher.  Markets are reporting that Chinese production has been hit with extreme weather conditions and results are unknown. Harvest in China occurs about the same time as the U.S. 

                Argentina prices are higher amid reduction in acreage and drought. Problems still exist with container shortages and inflation as U.S. shellers are hoping to get the EU to accept inspections and buy U.S.  Brazil peanut production is growing and becoming a major player.       

                What about 2023 peanut plans?  With cotton and corn at record levels last season, farmers were willing to delay some contracting and take that risk.  It paid off this time with higher contract offers.              Production costs and inflation will influence farmers on which crop to plant next season.                 

                With acreage cut 8% and fewer peanuts produced plus higher costs of inputs, the market for peanuts next season is anyone’s guess.


2022 Est. Peanut Acreage (-7.9%)                             1,447,265 acres

2022 Est. Peanut Production (- 7.7%         2,947,000 tons

2022 Market Loan 2021-2022                        2,568,453 tons

2022 Redeemed/sold 10-6, 2022                  2,423,875 tons

2022 In Loan (10-6)                                             144,578 tons

2021-22 Domestic Usage (12 Mo.)                DOWN - 0.6 %

2021-22 Exports (Jan-Jul) (7 Mo)                 DOWN – 9.26 %

Posted Price (10-4-2022) Runners -$424.68 ton, Spanish - $413.41 ton. Valencia and Virginias - $428.31