Looking ahead to 2013, an over-supply of peanuts has cast a pall over markets and caused uncertainty for growers such as the Terrys.

“We’re not sure if we’ll plant the same acreage as last year,” says Ross. “It’s all according to the kind of contracts that’ll be offered, and they’re looking pretty cheap right now.

“Considering the cost of fertilizer and other peanuts, I don’t think we’d be too interested in a contract at $350.”

Southwest winner

Joe. D. White, the 2012 Peanut Profitability Award winner for the Southwest, was waiting for rain in late November as the two-year drought appeared to be extending into a third production season.

But White, who grows peanuts, cotton and some grain near Frederick, Okla., said the 2012 peanut crop surprised him. “They were really good,” he said. “Average yield hit 5,300 pounds per acre and average grade was 72. That’s about as good a crop as I’ve ever had,” he said.

“We didn’t get a lot of rain; three or four half-inch showers kept the crop going. The total was not much more than we had in 2011.”

He said conditions were a little more favorable for peanuts in 2012. “It was a little cooler and not as windy. We also cut back on total irrigation and made water go as far as possible.”

White expects to maintain peanut acreage for 2013, but says contract prices might be a factor come spring. “Acreage will be the same or a little less but probably about the same as 2012. With a good price I might have added some acreage, but now, I’m not sure.”

He said the 2012 irrigated cotton crop performed fairly well with average yield hitting two and three-fourths bales per acre. Dryland cotton was not as good and he harvested just 25 percent to 30 percent of planted dryland acreage.

“Dryland fields were spotty,” he said. Yield ranged from 150 pounds to 300 pounds where fields got a little rain. “Fields that didn’t get rain made nothing,” he said.