STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi’s peanut crop is well on its way to a strong finish for 2021, according to the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service.
“The crop is in good condition,” said Brendan Zurweller, peanut specialist with the MSU Extension Service. “Although our acreage is down from last year, we should have close to the same average yield as last year.”
Zurweller said he expects the state will average between 4,000 and 4,200 pounds per acre this year. That is down slightly from the 2020 average of 4,400 pounds per acre, which was the best average yield on record for Mississippi peanut growers.
Mississippi growers planted 17,340 acres of peanuts, which is about 20 percent less than the acreage in 2020. Improved markets for other commodities and a late planting window contributed to the decrease in acreage.
“In addition to later plantings and cool temperatures this year, wet weather throughout the early and middle part of the growing season slowed crop development in many areas of the state,” Zurweller said.
In other areas of the state, fields could use a little rain, said Malcolm Broome, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association executive director. Peanut plants should completely cover the rows and row middles. Some fields have not reached this stage yet.
“Believe it or not, we have a spot or two in the state that is now dry,” he said. “A half-inch to an inch of rain could make a lot of difference. We don’t want it too wet. We don’t need the rain to set in and stay, but a few showers would help.”