The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

January 12, 2013

Good peanut crop could mean lower prices in grocery stores

ENID, Okla. — ATLANTA (AP) — Choosy moms and dads may be packing more PB&J in lunches this winter, when the cost of a jar of Jif or Skippy is expected to fall even as other grocery prices rise.

Peanut butter prices soared last year after a drought and high heat in the Southeast, where most peanuts are grown. That region got a break in 2012 while farmers in most of the rest of the United States suffered huge losses in the widest drought in decades.

Farmers are expected to bring in two-thirds more peanuts than they did in 2011. That could mean a price drop at the grocery store.

“After last year’s small crop, we saw peanut butter prices on average rise 30 percent or more,” said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. “With this year’s excellent crop, the supply and demand should come back into balance and peanut butter prices should come back to a more normal level at the retail level.”

A 10 percent decrease on a $3 jar of peanut butter, for example, would translate to a savings of 30 cents. That may seem nominal, but the impact is greater for food banks and other big buyers.

Bill Bolling, founder and executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, said food banks usually must buy protein-rich items like peanut butter, beans and meat. His organization buys anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 pounds of peanut butter each year, depending on the price.

“If costs go down 10 percent or 20 percent, we can buy that much more product,” Bolling said. A big supply also increases the possibility of donations — for instance, a company may donate large shipments if there is a mistake in packaging or a huge surplus, he said.

Bolling said peanut butter is one of the most popular products at the food bank because children like it, it’s high in protein and it has a long shelf life.

Peanuts are already considered a staple of the American diet, with the average U.S. consumer eating about 6 pounds of peanut butter and other peanut products each year, according to estimates from the American Peanut Council, an industry trade group. But peanut butter could become even more attractive as strong global demand, high prices for livestock feed and a huge sell-off of cattle and other animals in drought keep pushing up meat prices.

U.S. farmers are expected to produce more than 3 million tons of peanuts, according to figures from U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s a 66 percent increase over 2011, when growers produced more than 1.8 million tons.

Experts say several factors created the perfect conditions for a banner year. High peanut prices after last year’s small crop encouraged farmers to plant more; USDA figures show acreage was up nearly 50 percent in 2012 compared with a year earlier. Farmers in the Southeast also got a break in the weather. Spring came early, allowing them to plant sooner. Temperatures were generally milder, and thunderstorms in August and September provided some much-needed relief in the weeks before farmers began the peanut harvest, which is currently in full swing.

Experts also say a peanut variety developed in recent years is boosting the record yields, in part because it tends to be resistant to disease.

“In this south Georgia area, we probably had as good a growing season as I can remember in a long time, and maybe in my 26 years (as executive director),” said Don Koehler, director of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

1
Text Only
Ag
  • Danna Zook cutout web.jpg Producers need to consider cow supplements

    Springtime for many Oklahoma producers often means calving time.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg It’s time to dirty hands

    Bees are venturing out to visit the new flowers. Keep a close watch on your garden. Often, helpful pest-destroying insects are out, getting ready to work for you, also. These, and the bees helpfully pollinating flowers, shouldn’t be discouraged by the undiscriminating spraying of insecticides.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - 4H web.jpg 4-H’ers meet with state lawmakers

    Sen. Eddie Fields spoke to the group upon their arrival at the Capitol.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canola tour to have stops in area

    The tour will be held at the canola field of Flying G Farms located 91⁄2 miles west of Orienta on U.S. 412 and then north into the field.

    April 12, 2014

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Money up front can mean bigger returns later

    Implants are a safe, effective technology that typically offer a 10-to-1 return on investment.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg 9 area students to receive WLC program scholarships

    FFA members will tour our nation’s capital, visit with members of Congress and perform a service learning project within the Washington area, while building friendships with fellow FFA members from across the nation.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg NW Oklahoma FFA members named proficiency finalists

    Three finalists are selected in each of 49 agricultural proficiency award categories. The state winner in each area will be announced April 30 during the 88th State FFA Convention held at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWDJLS_Swine_8_BV.jpg Today’s 4-H creating blue ribbon kids

    The constant that 4-H has is that we give kids an opportunity to excel in a niche that they can kind of create for themselves.” — Jim Rhodes, 4-H youth development program specialist for Northwest District

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Managing cowherd fertility is important

    Yet, recent survey data suggest only 18 percent of beef-cow operations in the United States evaluate the cowherd for pregnancy. This is unfortunate, since a large portion of the financial losses attributed to infertility in beef cows is attributed to maintaining open cows.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg Gardening workshop is April 12

    Dee Nash, a native of Oklahoma, will be the key note speaker. She will speak on “Lemonade Gardening: Making the Best of Extreme Conditions or Lemonade out of Lemons.”

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Facebook