High Peanut Prices Encourage More Farmers To Consider The Crop

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Drought and strong prices could push more peanut production out of traditional regions and into states such as Arkansas and Mississippi not known for growing the crop but with ample water to give it a try.

Some major peanut states, including Georgia and Texas, have struggled to grow the crop amid an extended drought, leading farmers elsewhere to consider cashing in on prices that have soared as production dropped.

In 2010, American farmers harvested 2.1 million tons of peanuts, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service. That fell to 1.8 million tons in 2011, a 15 percent drop that caused prices to more than double to about $1,000 a ton.

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