At the recent spring conference of the American Peanut Shellers Association, held in Albany, Ga., University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist John Beasley shared the results of a recent questionnaire submitted to U.S. peanut agronomists asking them for their thoughts and comments on the upcoming production year.

In the questionnaire, Beasley asked the agronomists to consider the following three questions:

• Will acreage be up, down or steady in your state in 2012 and by approximately how much (percentage up or down) compared to last year?

• What will be the predominant cultivars in your state?

• What do you foresee as the most critical production issues (pests, soil fertility, water, marketing/contracting, etc.) in your state going into the 2012 crop?

Answers provided by the agronomists are as follows, including those from Beasley.

Maria Balota of Virginia Tech University expects acreage in her state to be up in 2012, but she isn’t sure by how much. “I heard of farmers willing to increase peanut acreages they usually have and farmers who didn’t grow peanuts, but are willing to start growing this year.”

The predominant variety, she says, probably will be Bailey, but CHAMPS and Sugg also will be grown. In some fields with heavier soils, Perry performs very well and some farmers will continue to grow that variety.

David Jordan of North Carolina State University expects acreage in his state to be up by 15 percent over 2011, with mostly Virginia-type varieties being planted, including Bailey, Sugg, CHAMPS and Perry. He predicts that maybe 5 percent of the acreage will be planted in runners.

He expects major challenges to be potentially dry weather, Palmer amaranth pigweed, expenses associated with Sclerotinia blight and CBR (but only on a fraction of acres), the ability to control thrips and possible issues with nematodes and mites.