Which U.S. State Produces The Most Peanuts?


Peanuts are a popular legume crop grown mainly for their edible seeds, per Healthline. They are native to South America and are now widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. WebMD says peanuts are a rich source of protein and they can prevent heart disease and reduce your risk of heart attacks. Peanuts are used in a variety of food products, including peanut butter, oil, and roasted peanuts, and they can be added to many recipes.

According to the American Peanut Council, there were 47 million metric tons of peanuts produced in 2020, and while you may think that peanuts are only grown in countries like Brazil or Nigeria, you’d be wrong. The council says that China is the world’s largest producer, and the U.S. is the fourth largest producer. Peanuts are grown in many states in the U.S., but one state rises above the rest as the one that grows the most peanuts, accounting for nearly half of all peanuts grown in the country.

Which U.S. State Produces The Most Peanuts?

Georgia is the largest producer of peanuts in the U.S. Alabama is ranked second. The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia.

Five states produce the most peanuts in the U.S.

In the United States, the major peanut producing states that grow 99% of the U. S. peanut crop: Georgia (which grows about 42% of all U. S. peanuts), followed by Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Oklahoma and New Mexico. These ten states are grouped into three regions. The Southeast Region (Georgia-Florida-Alabama-Mississippi-Arkansas) primarily grows mostly the medium-kernels Runner peanuts. The Southwest region (Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico) grows Spanish, Runner Valencia and some Virginia type varieties. The Virginia-Carolina region (Virginia-North Carolina-South Carolina) predominately grows the large-kerneled Virginia type peanut. About 68% of all U. S. peanuts are grown in the Southeast region, with the Virginia/Carolina area accounting for about 13%, and the Southwest region at about 18%.

Major US Peanut-Producing States

U.S. Peanut Varieties

There are four market types of peanuts grown commercially in the United States: runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia.

The runner type, which is used mainly for peanut butter, is the primary commercial peanut raised. This type makes up 80 percent of the country’s planted acreage, mostly in the Southeast.

The Virginia type, grown mainly in Virginia and North Carolina for gourmet snacks, provides 15 percent of the U.S. crop.

Spanish peanuts, which are considered to have the most pronounced nutty flavor of the commercially produced peanuts due to higher oil content, are commonly grown in Oklahoma and Texas. They comprise about four percent of the national crop.

Valencia peanuts, raised almost exclusively in New Mexico, comprise about one percent of the crop. These peanuts are usually roasted and sold in their shells as well as used for all-natural peanut butter.

U.S peanut-growing regions

U.S peanut-growing regions

Per the National Peanut Board, only 13 states in the U.S. grow peanuts — the five listed above and Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia. After the top five states already discuss, Virginia-Carolinas Peanuts says that South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico produce the most peanuts out of the remaining states. Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas are considered minor peanut growers. The peanut-growing states are grouped into three regions, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

The first is the Southeast Region. which includes Georgia-Florida-Alabama-Mississippi-Arkansas. Then there’s the Southwest region, consisting of Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico. Finally, there is the Virginia-Carolina region, which includes Virginia-North Carolina-South Carolina. About 68% of all peanuts grown in the U.S. are grown in the Southeast region, per the National Peanut Board. Then, the Virginia/Carolina area grows 13% of all peanuts, and the Southwest region produces about 18% of all peanuts in the U.S.

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