Here in Georgia, we’re known for our peaches.
But we should be known for our peanuts because we grow more peanuts than any other state in the country.
According to the Georgia Peanut Commission, Georgia farmers grew 57 percent of the nation’s crop in 2015.
This year, farmers planted 16 percent more acres of peanuts than last year to keep up with demands of consumers around the world.
Rodney Dawson has been growing peanuts around Hawkinsville his whole life.
“We have about 150 acres that’s dry land,” Dawson said. “They don’t have any water source but through the Lord out of the sky… [we] probably got 800 acres of irrigated peanuts.”
Dawson is one of around 3,500 peanut farmers in the state. He says it comes down to profit for farmers when deciding what crops to plant.
Most of the time they plant what they can get the most for -- this year it’s peanuts.
“Our carryover numbers were down. We’ve been able to export a good many peanuts for the last two years to China and it kept our supply kind of low,” Dawson said.
After looking at this year’s crop, Dawson says the weather is helping make it a higher quality one in both size and taste.
While there are many ways to enjoy the millions of peanuts he's planted, the majority of them will end up being ground up.
“They've got that huge market and they require that many peanuts for the candy, the cookies, and crackers, a lot of it just goes into peanut butter,” Dawson said.
With the extra acres and the ideal weather, Dawson says the bottom line is it is good for consumers of peanuts in all forms.
“It should be more affordable and plenty of it,” Dawson said.
Dawson expects to start harvesting his fields around September 10.
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