Planting of the 2016 peanut crop in Arkansas has progressed much earlier than previous seasons with over 90% of peanut acres having been planted to date. By comparison, in mid-May last year only 50 to 60% of the acres were reported to be planted.
Early estimates indicate 22,500 acres were planted this year in Arkansas. This is more than any other time in the history of peanut production in the state. Prior to this season, the year with the most acres planted was 2012 with a little over 18,500. Because some producers have fields in Arkansas and Missouri, the total acreage for this region is estimated at 26,500 (~4,000 acres in MO).
The increase in acres is related to an increase in contract acres by Golden Peanut and Birdsong Peanut Companies and success of quality peanut production in Arkansas. The two most common cultivars of peanut grown in the state are Georgia 06G and Georgia 09B, which are both runner-type peanuts.
One of the main differences between the two is that Georgia 09B is a high O/L peanut which has a higher ratio of oleic acid vs. linoleic acid than the standard peanut, Georgia 06G. A peanut with a higher O/L ratio has a longer shelf life than that of the standard peanut, which is why it is favored by the candy industry. These two cultivars have performed well over the past few seasons and are a good choice for production in the region.
Some of 2016 peanut crop has emerged and overall, these plants look good, but there is a long season ahead.