AgFax Peanut Review: Sunland Plant Hits Auction Block; Revival of the South’s Original Peanut



    • Andrea Williams reports for WTOK Channel 11 ABC News, Meridian, Mississippi, that peanut production is on the rise in Mississippi, with the number of growers climbing from about 10 to over 120 over the last few years. Peanuts fit well in a crop rotation with cotton so many growers have started growing them to give soils a chance to recharge after decades of continuous cotton production, while higher prices starting from the drought in the west two years ago has also helped entice more growers to switch to peanuts.

    Sunland Inc.

    • Sunland Inc., the Portales, New Mexico peanut butter plant that was shut down following a salmonella outbreak in 2012 and later declared bankruptcy in 2013, is to be auctioned this week on Thursday, March 20. California-based Ready Roast Nut Co. had already offered to buy the plant for $18.5 million, but another potential buyer has emerged. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has scheduled a hearing Friday to accept or reject the best bid in the auction.

    On the Lighter Side

    • Hanna Raskin reports for The Post and Courier that a Clemson University plant scientist has helped to revive the “original peanut of the South”, thought to be lost forever since the 1950s. While the peanut typically grown and thought of today is the Virginia peanut, the nut originally associated with the South and Southern cuisine was the Carolina African runner peanut, which fell out of favor when planters realized Spanish and Valencia nuts made better butters while the disease-prone Carolina African runner’s small size made harvest difficult. The variety almost vanished, except for a pair of seed samples kept at the University of South Carolina with no knowledge of their historical significance. Now, however, the Carolina African runner is making a comeback and may become commercially available later this year.

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