Peanut Production Is Down, But Demand For Organics Is Rising
The state of Georgia accounts for about half of all U.S. peanut production. But, southwestern states produce about 18 percent of U.S. peanuts and play an important role in organic farming.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released its production report and overall, drought caused a lower yield for peanuts in 2016. But growers in New Mexico irrigate their crop, so growing and production can be controlled each season.
In the Southwest, organic methods of growing are on the rise to meet demand.
New Mexico State University Peanut Breeder Naveen Puppala said growers are paid two to three times the national average per ton for an organic crop.
"Most of the peanut butter, which is organically made, that demand has increased and we want that market to rise and that’s what the processors are interested in,” Puppala said.
He also said China is the biggest international buyer of U.S. peanuts. Puppala said China's buyers prefer cooking with oil from U.S. peanuts.