Columbia, S.C. – This year South Carolina peanut farmers planted a record 105,000 acres of peanuts. Ten years ago that number was just 10,000 acres. The increase is keeping inspectors and crews busy at the nine drying and buying stations across the state. On average, this year’s peanut crop is yielding nearly two tons to the acre.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) hired 69 peanut inspectors to help with this season’s grading process. Each part-time employee is trained to grade the peanuts for sale, according to the United States Department of Agriculture grade standards.
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers recently visited the Carolina Peanuts buying station in Cameron. During peak times at that station, crews conduct 40 to 65 peanut samples for grading per day.
“The work done at this buying station and others show the emergence of peanuts in South Carolina farming. The crop has real potential for further expansion of acres planted and that could lead to an even bigger economic contribution from the peanut industry,” said Commissioner Weathers.
An additional peanut buying station is located near Cameron. Other stations are located in Fairfax, Bowman, Kingstree, Hemingway, Dalzell and two in the Mullins area. There are currently 420 peanut farmers across 14 South Carolina Counties. South Carolina ranks fifth in the nation in peanut production.
Story Courtesy of SCDA.