North Carolina: A Leader in the Peanut Industry
What's better than snacking on a handful of savory, crunchy peanuts? The answer that most people in the United States would give is nothing! Peanuts are the number one snack consumed in the country, accounting for more than 66% of the sales in the snack nut market. And as the demand for peanuts remains strong, North Carolina, one of the United States' most prominent producers of peanuts, shows no signs of slowing down and continues as a leader in the peanut farming industry. North Carolina is also home to Hampton Farms' headquarters, located in Severn, NC. So, let's take a closer look at growing peanuts in North Carolina.
The Geography of North Carolina Peanut Farming
Each state's unique climate, soils, pests and production techniques produce a wide variety of peanuts. While peanuts are grown in 13 different states, North Carolina is one of the country's best and most popular peanut-growing locations. North Carolina is also one of the nation's largest producers of Virginia-type peanuts, which are primarily targeted for the in-shell peanut market. Virginia peanuts are also used for cocktail and gourmet peanuts.
Peanuts are grown in more than 22 North Carolina counties, but Bertie County, Martin County and Pitt County are the three most prominent peanut-producing counties in the Tar Heel State. North Carolina is home to more than 1,400 peanut farms, as it offers an optimal climate for peanut growing. Peanuts, like other legumes, grow best in soil with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and they perform best in regions with around 150 frost-free days. North Carolina offers exceptional land for planting and harvesting peanuts, with deep, fine, sandy soil and good drainage. The legume is typically planted in May and harvested anywhere from late September to mid-October.
Peanut Production in North Carolina
How does North Carolina stack up in peanut production compared to the rest of the peanut belt? North Carolina ranks fifth in peanut production in the United States, often producing more than 400,000,000 pounds of peanuts per year. This volume accounts for a notable percentage of the nation's total output, typically around 5.5 billion pounds. Other top-producing-peanut states include Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Texas. In 2020, there were over 106,000 harvested acres of peanuts in North Carolina, which works out to around 4,000 pounds of peanuts per acre! This vast quantity of peanuts amounted to more than $92 million in overall production value for the state of North Carolina alone.
Hampton Farms has been delivering the freshest, best quality peanuts from seed to shelf since 1917. Our business is family-owned and operated, and we are committed to producing the finest nut-based snacks and services with integrity, honesty and the pride of American Farmers. If you're looking for a locally grown, nutritious and delicious snack, purchase some Hampton Farms nuts today!