Over 85 per cent of peanuts in Canada come from a choice of 25,000 growers in the U.S. The main peanut growing areas in the USA are Georgia, Texas, Alabama, the Carolinas, Florida, Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mississippi. U.S, peanuts are the best in the world, here’s why:
- The American peanut tastes better, has a longer shelf life, and boasts a healthier monounsaturated fat profile. The bitter flavours of offshore varieties – sometimes having a rancid taste due to short shelf life – contrast sharply with the pleasing taste of the American peanut.
- Excellent growing conditions and an industry committed to careful cultivation under rigorous scientific conditions make the American peanut the most carefully raised crop of its kind.
- Extensive research and advanced technology in breeding, seeding, cultivation and harvesting combine to deliver the most flavourful and safest peanut. The modest price premium of American peanuts assures a product of superior taste and quality.
- First a digging machine loosens the soil and cuts the tap root. Then a shaker removes the soil from the peanuts and they’re left to cure in the field for two or three days. Freshly dug peanuts then go to the drying wagons for further curing.
- U.S. peanut growers have harnessed technology to make their product better. Growers use GPS systems in fertilizing and irrigating crops. Shellers use electronic eye and laser technology to clean, size and sort peanuts. And shippers use cold storage where temperature and humidity control keeps the product fresh.
U.S. Peanuts & Sustainability
- Peanuts are naturally sustainable. As a nitrogen fixing rotation crop, they replenish soil with the essential nitrogen that’s depleted by other crops. This means that less fertilizer is needed to grow peanuts, as well as the rotation crop, ultimately leading to less greenhouse gas emissions.
- Peanuts have a light water footprint of only 4.7 gallons per ounce – a result of their specific growing regions, relatively compact size and fruiting underground. Just 35-40% of U.S. peanuts are irrigated because many grow in the southeast and have the benefit of plentiful rain.
- U.S. peanut farmers have been keen to embrace new technologies that address water-use management, such as low-pressure and Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) systems, variable rate
irrigation and end-gun shutoffs for spigot irrigation.
- Peanuts require fewer inputs (water, land, etc.) than many other crops.
- American peanut farmers have always been good stewards of the land, with most living with their families on their farms. Their practices are focused on growing the best crop, with the fewest inputs, because it makes both economic and environmental sense. This also helps ensure the farm will remain in their family for generations to come.
- New advances in seed breeding are playing a role in sustainability and making it more efficient. As a result, new, more sustainable peanut breeds – particularly those that increase yields without increasing water consumption – can become available for American peanut farmers quicker than ever.
No part of an American peanut goes unused:
- Pelletized peanuts made from the hulls are used for animal feed and fuel
- Peanut “hay” from discarded vines is used for livestock feed or put back on the land to enrich the soil
- Emerging uses are being discovered for peanut skins, which contain high levels of antioxidants/polyphenols
- Biodiesel is produced from peanut oil
To learn more about peanut sustainability from The National Peanut Board, go to www.nationalpeanutboard.org/more/sustainability
Although many people consider peanuts a nut, they are really a legume of the plant Arachis hypogaea.