UACES Facebook YEAREND: Dry summer lowers disease pressure, speeds harvest for Arkansas peanut growers
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YEAREND: Dry summer lowers disease pressure, speeds harvest for Arkansas peanut growers

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Dec. 9, 2022

Fast facts

  • Dry weather aided peanut harvest
  • Some farmers migrated acres to soy, cotton

(301 words)

(Newsrooms: with file art of harvest, file art of Faske)
LONOKE, Ark. —The droughty summer of 2022 made harvest both easier and more challenging for Arkansas’ peanut farmers.

“The hot summer conditions suppressed flowering and thus suppressed pod set for several weeks creating two distinct crops: early and late,” said Travis Faske, extension pathologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Extension Plant Pathologist Travis Faske talks to farmers in this July 2022 file photo. Faske said drought put peanut growers into a bit of a conundrum in 2022.

The early-late conundrum created “a challenge for farmers to wait until the late crop matures or harvest the early one and take a hit on yield and grade,” he said. “As expected, grades and yield were lower at the beginning of harvest compared to the end.” 

On the other hand, dry conditions during harvest enabled one of the quickest harvests in recent years with nearly 90 percent of the crop harvested by the end of October,” Faske said.

Another plus to the dry weather was that disease pressure was low from the usual suspects — tomato spotted wilt virus and Verticillium wilt, and average for southern and Sclerotinia blight.

Arkansas farmers grew about 2,000 fewer acres of peanuts in 2022 compared to 2021. The November forecast from the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated harvested acres at 32,000 acres in Arkansas.

“This was due to good soybean and cotton prices and more acres in Missouri,” Faske said. “Overall, the south-central region had about 7,000 fewer acres than in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

“Conditions were good for planting with no major issues, maybe some starting too early,” Faske said.

Prices were about the same as 2021, “approximately $500 per ton for first ton. Those that grow a high oleic acid cultivar get a little more per pound,” he said.

Faske said 2022, was a “slightly better than average year with yield estimates at 5,000 pounds per acre. Of course, there are always those stories of 6,900 pounds per acre field average.” 

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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