Alabama farms will grow more winter wheat, cotton and corn this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March 29 Prospective Planting report. Peanut acreage is predicted to drop, while soybeans should mimic 2017 acreage.
The report is based on surveys farmers submitted the first two weeks of March. The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Carla Hornady said various factors may ultimately change what farmers plant.
“If poor growing conditions in South America create a smaller crop there, U.S. farmers could respond by planting more soybean acres,” said Hornady, the Federation’s Soybean, Cotton and Wheat & Feed Grain divisions director.
“Weather conditions could change planting decisions, too. If we have a wet or dry spring that prevents farmers from planting an early crop, they could plant something different later in the season.”
Alabama Peanut Producers Association Executive Director Caleb Bristow said less peanut acreage likely results from low prices caused by a plentiful supply of peanuts on hand.
“Spring (peanut) contracts are low, signaling the market does not need a lot of peanuts right now,” Bristow said. “Considering higher cotton prices, peanut farmers are looking at other options to cash flow their operations this year.”
Read more in the May Neighbors magazine or at AlfaFarmers.org.
Alabama Planting Prospective
Cotton: 470,000 acres, up 8 percent
Corn: 260,000 acres, up 4 percent
Winter wheat: 190,000 acres, up 27 percent
Soybeans: 350,000 acres, no change
Peanuts: 160,000 acres, down 18 percent