Peanut producers participate in field day

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Area peanut producers and researchers came together yesterday for the annual Peanut Field Day that was held at several locations, throughout Roosevelt and Curry counties. The group gathered together to hear presentations about various techniques and experiments being used to farm peanuts.

According to Floyd McAlister, Roosevelt County Extension Agent, the field day was started 20 years ago to provide research for the local area farmers that were growing peanuts.

“Twenty years ago, their was no peanut research being done in New Mexico, McAlister said.

The PNT had the chance to visit with area people who are involved in the peanut industry and learn a few facts about peanuts.

Mark Marsalis
Extension Agronomist
Agriculture Science Center at Clovis

Q. Why is this area prominent for growing peanuts?
A. “The soil and climate in this area are very conducive to growing peanuts.”

Q. Why are peanuts important to our area?
A. “The peanuts are a commodity that is very marketable.”

Naveen Puppala
Peanut Breeder
Agriculture Science Center at Clovis

Q. How many acres of peanuts are grown in Curry and Roosevelt counties?
A. “ There are approximately 18,000 acres contracted to local peanut mills.”

Q. How many varieties of peanuts are grown in the area?
A. “Mainly we grow Valencia’s, we are the primary growers of Valencia’s.”

Q. Why is the Valencia peanut grown in this area?
A. “Valencia’s have the shortest growing season and the soil and climate are (in this area) ideal for growing Valencia’s.”

Q. What is so special about the Valencia peanut?
A. “It has the sweetest taste compared to the other types (of peanuts).”

Jimmy Shearer
President, CEO and an Owner
Sunland Peanuts

Q. Where are the peanuts shipped to?
A. “All over the world”

Q. What are the peanuts mainly used for?
A. “Left in shell for ballparks and peanut butter is also made out of a lot of the peanuts.”

Q. Peanuts are legumes. Does a legume grow above or below the ground?
A. “Grows underground”

Floyd McAlister
Roosevelt County Extension Agent

Q. When are the peanuts harvested?
A. “Normally the first of October.”

Q. What types of equipment are used to harvest the peanuts?
A. ‘An inverter that turns the peanuts up and we use peanut combines to strip the peanuts.”