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Record Peanut Crop Predicted for 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has anticipated this year’s peanut growth in Georgia will not only be better than 2011, but could break records, despite the summer’s drought and increased fuel and fertilizer costs.
This news comes as a surprise after last year’s nationwide shortage of peanuts led to record high prices.
This year, farmers planted twice as many acres, and some secured early contracts worth $750 per ton, to prepare for the season. But due to the healthy output, the prices have dropped to around half of that.
“We anticipate there will be a decrease in all the prices of peanut products,” said Tyron Spearman with the National Buying Points Association. He stated last year’s shortage led to a 30% increase in cost of peanut butter and peanut related products.
Georgia is the number-one peanut-producing state in the country, accounting for approximately 45% of the crop’s national acreage and production. The state’s peanut harvest begins right after Labor Day and lasts through October.