U.S. peanut producers intend to plant 1.42 million acres in 2012, up 25 percent from the previous year, according to USDA’s first planting intentions report of the season.
South Carolina is anticipating a record-high planted area, with 105,000 acres, compared to 77,000 acres in 2011.
If realized, planted area in Florida and Mississippi will be the highest since 1951 and 1943, respectively.
Florida growers say they will plant 190,000 acres, or 12 percent more than last year, while Mississippi peanut acreage is expected to go from 15,000 in 2011 to 50,000 acres this year.
Georgia, which produces the majority of peanuts grown in the U.S., is expected to increase its 2012 acreage by 20 percent, from 475,000 to 570,000 acres.
Other states expected to show significant acreage gains this year include Texas, with a 33 percent increase; Virginia, with a 44 percent increase; and Alabama, with a 24 percent increase.
The expected increase in planted acreage is largely driven by higher peanut prices and low supply. Last year, growers decreased peanut acres in many states due to higher prices of competing commodities.
Strong demand left peanuts in short supply, indicating the need to increase production in 2012.