Final Crop Report

— Written By NC State Extension

The peanut crop in the V-C is nearly complete. Estimates are that the entire crop has now been dug and over 98% of combining is complete. 2013 was a year of extremes, with cool and often wet conditions in May and part of June. Rainfall in many areas was excessive through early to mid-July and caused delays in some key field operations such as gypsum application for some growers. Excessive rainfall most likely leached some key elements through the soil profile and in low areas of fields adversely affected yields directly. However, pest control was adequate in most areas. Digging and harvest conditions were good during September but diminished in early to mid-October due to rainfall and cloudy conditions that prevented drying of vines and pods in the field (Photos 1 and 2). Some losses were noted due to pod shed prior to digging and for peanuts that remained in the field for over 3 weeks after digging. Some freeze damage was noted but only a small fraction. Yield estimates relative to the 2012 crop were down 10-15% across the region. While some areas had yields higher than 2012, in general crop yield was lower and can be attributed in part to excessive water in some areas of many fields. Unlike 2012, significant areas of fields, on edges or in low pockets, yielded less because of excessive water. In some areas hard soils resulted in pod loss during digging. Also, some areas experienced drought stress because root systems were underdeveloped due to excessive rain in May and June and then drought in July and August. Generally, market grades will be lower than in 2012.

Total harvested acreage in the V-C is estimated at 175,000 acres. Yield estimate is 3,750 pounds per acre.

Peanuts remaining in fields after digging as a result of wet soils and poor drying conditions during late October and early November.

Peanuts remaining in fields after digging as a result of wet soils and poor drying conditions during late October and early November.

Completion of harvest has been challenging due to limited drying of pods and vines in the field.

Completion of harvest has been challenging due to limited drying of pods and vines in the field.

Peanut fields following harvest in September and October often are followed by seeding wheat.

Peanut fields following harvest in September and October often are followed by seeding wheat.

Peanut hay bailed after peanut harvest earlier in the fall.

Peanut hay bailed after peanut harvest earlier in the fall.

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2013-093)