Mississippi Farmers Planting Fewer Peanuts

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With a glut driving prices down, peanut farmers are cutting back on planting, and nowhere is the expected change more marked than in Mississippi.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Mississippi farmers plan to put 22,000 acres into peanuts this year -- about 42 percent of last year's acreage. But last year's plantings were about 2 1/2 times those for 2011 because drought in Georgia, the No. 1 peanut state, caused a high spike in prices.

Mississippi State University agricultural economist John Michael Riley calls it a return to normalcy for Mississippi peanut acres.

Last year, peanuts brought up to $1,000 a ton. Late March prices, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, averaged just over 25 cents a pound. That works out to about $500 a ton.