If peanut farmers' plantings live up to their expectations in 2012, they'll grow 100,000 acres of goobers this year. That is a substantial increase in acreage compared to last year. The statistics come from the recently released Prospective Plantings Report from the N.C. Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, a division of USDA.
"The forecast for peanut acreage is 22% above 2011, a year that produced strong yields for North Carolina growers," says N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "The projected acreage for peanuts is the most in our state since 2008."
North Carolina will also see increases in acreages for corn and soybeans. The number of acres planted to cotton and tobacco will be down, however, according to the NASS survey.
Farmers will plant 900,000 acres of corn. That is an increase of 3% more than last year when, notes NASS, "drought and Hurricane Irene led to a yield that was 25 bushels per acre below the 10-year average."
Soybean producers will plant more soybean acres in 2012; 1.43 million acres, which adds up to 4% more than in 2011.
Sweet potato producers in North Carolina expect to plant 3% more acres to their favorite vegetable in 2012.
Wheat producers' acreage is up 19%, totaling 830,000 acres according to the survey. Producers planted wheat in the fall and winter.
With high prices urging them cotton producers planted more than 800,000 acres of the crop in 2011. This year farmers intend to plant 700,000 acres of cotton, a 13% drop.
Flue-cured tobacco in areas east of Interstate 95 was hit hard by Hurricane Irene last year, and then more damp weather from tropical storms followed in the hurricane's wake. This year growers say they expect to plant 150,000 acres of flue-cured tobacco, a 10,000-acre drop from 2011.