LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Rising peanut prices are leading some farmers to consider growing the crop outside of established peanut-growing areas.
Drought in parts of the South helped reduce the 2011 peanut crop by about 15 percent from the year before. Prices climbed from about
$400 a ton in 2010 to $1,000 this year.
That has led more farmers in states with ample water, such as Arkansas and Mississippi, to plant peanuts.
Farmers such as Greg Gill say it makes sense to grow peanuts instead of rice on his land in northeastern Arkansas. Gill says as fuel prices rose, it became costly to run pumps needed to flood his fields as required for rice.
Besides avoiding that cost, he says peanuts don't require as many costly treatments for weeds and pests as other crops.