W37: Peanut Update

In W37 in the peanut landscape, on Peanut Day, September 13, the Department of Agriculture and Supply of the State of São Paulo, Brazil, highlighted the growth of the national peanut market. Varieties developed through the IAC Peanut Genetic Improvement Program occupy 80% of the planted area in São Paulo, the main peanut-producing state in Brazil. High oleic peanut cultivars developed by the program are gaining importance for their reduced rancidity and improved shelf life. The 2022/23 agricultural harvest saw a 10.8% increase in peanut cultivation, reaching 736.3 thousand tons in São Paulo. The state remains the main national producer of peanuts, with Tupã, Marília, and Jaboticabal as the leading production regions. Additionally, a study on industrialized peanut products by the Institute of Food Technology found that most of these products in Brazil do not contain dyes, antioxidants, or preservatives, and most have positive nutritional characteristics like proteins and dietary fiber.

In the United States (US), Arkansas peanut producers are facing the challenge of a "split crop" due to varying maturity levels in their peanut plants, a situation also encountered in 2022. The early pod set is ready for harvest, while the late pod set will require more time. Farmers must decide whether to prioritize early or late pods during the harvest, which involves a two-step process. Decisions on when to harvest each set are essential to avoid rotting or low-grade peanuts. Despite some challenges, the growing season has been relatively disruption-free, with low insect pressure. Irrigation remains a critical factor as growers approach harvest, with no fixed date to stop watering, as peanuts must be mature for harvesting. Most growers are expected to begin digging in late September or early October.

India is facing a severe drought crisis, with approximately 30% of its land area experiencing various degrees of drought in Sep-23. The situation has been exacerbated by the driest August since 1901, with a rainfall deficiency of 36%. The Standardized Soil Moisture Index (SSI) indicates extreme stress in many districts, particularly in states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. This drought has led to delayed sowing, crop failures, and decreased crop output, impacting important Kharif crops such as peanuts, cotton, pulses, and oilseeds. The overall drought condition in the country worsened in June, July, and August, with 30.4% of the land area affected by drought in early September.

Furthermore, peanuts and maize crops in India’s Chitradurga and Davanagere districts face severe damage due to delayed rainfall and rising temperatures. Some farmers have reported a 75% loss in this year's yield, prompting them to consider planting short-term crops to offset the losses. The peanut crop in Chitradurga district, covering over 1.1 thousand hectares (ha) of land, has suffered significantly due to a rainfall deficit, with experts estimating a yield decline of over 50% in 2023. The agriculture department encourages farmers to cultivate millets and castor, which can thrive in challenging climatic conditions. The situation has led to concerns about crop yield and food security in the region, with multiple districts declaring drought conditions.

Lastly, peanut producers in Osmaniye's Kadirli district, Türkiye, are demanding a minimum price of USD 2.58 per kilogram (TRY 70/kg) for peanuts due to rising production costs, such as increasing costs of fuel, labor, and machinery as the reasons for their request. Diesel fuel prices have surged from USD 0.89 (TRY 24) to USD 1.48 (TRY 40) in the past year, impacting production expenses. 

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