The Future is Bright in the Peanut Industry

05/08/2018

 

The Future is Bright in the Peanut Industry

By: Kristen Traugh, Growing America
Posted: May 8, 2018

 1.58 minutes to read article

 

 

All of us at Growing America believe that an industry that feeds us is an industry worth supporting. But, if your particular industry is responsible for peanut butter, well…. you are extra special. Thankfully, with the support of the National Peanut Board and the American Peanut Research and Education Society, the United States peanut producers are experiencing an upward trajectory.

Just like any other crop, weather is usually a factor in making record peanut yields. Not to be overlooked are the high-quality cultivars that are available to the producers. In previous years the tomato spotted wilt epidemic left the South shaken and scientists scrambling to find a solution to the disease. This reinforced the program attempting to create better cultivar genetics. Now producers have a cornucopia of varieties available to them, from nematode-resistant traits to high-oleics. 

Many improvements have been made in the way we treat diseases in peanuts. Some chemistry programs available even skip sprays that would normally be used at certain intervals, thus saving the farmer time and money. Peanut producers are also looking into better environmental practices to grow their crops. Instead of using a full tillage system, or breaking the land, farmers have turned to strip-tillage to save costs and maintain soil moisture. 

Even during the harvest, advancements have been made using precision technology. Peanuts must be inverted (dug out of the ground and flipped over) to dry before the peanut combine collects the nuts. Technology is used to make sure every plant is harvested. 

A common concern among consumers is the chance of having an allergy to peanuts. The National Peanut Board is taking steps to allay this fear with a recent video series. The series walks through a parent introducing peanut foods into his young son’s diet. The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases recommends feeding peanut foods regularly when an infant reaches four months of age. This can be done with 2 grams of peanut protein per meal, three times a week. If the child has eczema or an egg allergy, this can often times still be done, but please consult a physician with any concerns. 

Peanuts surely bring about unity in the agriculture sector. Many countries banded together to complete the largest single research project funded by the peanut industry: the mapping of the peanut genome sequence. Time and technology will show us what advancements we can expect from this science. Until then, peanuts have brought about a remarkable resolve among producers and the industry. This collaboration serves to advance everything from the production to the consumers, from the farm to the grocery store shelves.

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