While the United States Department of Agriculture works to set regulations, the 2014 farm bill is in limbo. However, that is not stopping local farmers from thinking of their upcoming peanut planting season.
Marshall Lamb is Research Leader at the National Peanut Research Lab (NPRL) in Dawson, Georgia. He said farmers should be aware of a stagnant market.
“It's a difficult situation we're in right now. Due to two back to back record high yields in the United States, we're very oversupplied in peanuts,” said Lamb.
With a growing supply, it could be a tight year for farmers’ profits. However, demand for peanuts is going up and health benefits could play a part. According to a new report by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, peanuts can reduce stress, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
Although peanuts are more durable in harsh conditions, their market prices are stable. As a result, farmers said they will plant more cotton because of its increasing market price.
“[Low market prices bring] a lot less income to deal with and it's harder to pay bills and the next year you've got to find new ways to cut more costs,” said Jesse Scott, a local farmer.
Also, last summer's rain negatively impacted Scott’s cotton yield. This year, he is hoping to make up for it.