RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi peanut producers should see an average year in terms of crop quality and yield, according to the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service.

“We’ll have a good year, an average year, for peanuts,” said Brendan Zurweller, peanut specialist with the MSU Extension Service. “I don’t think we’ll be able to classify it as excellent because of some of the weather conditions we had during important development times for the crop.”

High temperatures and lack of rainfall in late June and July kept the fields dry and slowed plant growth. In late August and early September, some areas in central Mississippi received heavy rainfall.

“The southern half of the state got a lot more rain than we did in the northern half,” said Zurweller. “How the crop was affected depends on where you are and how well drained the soil is. Even if growers got a lot of rain, it didn’t really hurt yield, but it could have slowed down maturity in some areas, especially if the soil was waterlogged.”

Zurweller said some producers began digging a little earlier than usual because they were able to get the crop planted early this year.

“The crop is about 30% harvested at this point,” Zurweller said. “We don’t have them all dug yet, but we’re in good shape.”

Mississippi producers planted about 14,500 acres of peanuts. That number is down about 20% from 2021 acreage because of higher commodity prices for other crops at planting time. Yield is expected to be between 4,000 and 4,200 pounds per acre.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service released on Sept. 25, 35% of peanuts have been dug with 25% harvested. The report shows 67% of the crop is in good condition, 25% is in fair condition, and 3% is in poor condition. The remaining 5% is in excellent condition.