Saturday, December 3, 2022

A Long And Storied History 

amanda huber
Amanda Huber,
Peanut Grower Editor

A theme running through this issue of The Peanut Grower is the history of peanuts.

Part of that history goes back to the 1900 Paris Exposition and the introduction of the diesel engine. Although Rudolf Diesel had used everything from crude oil to paraffin oil in his new engine, it was peanut oil running the engine at the World’s Fair during its debut.

Could we turn back the clock and use peanut oil as a fuel? On page 20, you can read about a research partnership between Texas A&M AgriLife and Chevron to develop higher-oil content peanut varieties as a potential renewable feedstock for diesel fuel with a lower carbon intensity.

How is this possible? Well, that’s part of our peanut history as well. The researchers, including Texas A&M AgriLife professor emeritus Charles Simpson, will be combing through the wild germplasm, collected and maintained by Simpson, to find suitable varieties with the agronomic characteristics needed for production. 

Multiple universities are working on a problem that has been plaguing our peanut industry for years, with 2019 being a significantly bad year. That problem is aflatoxin. Our history of aflatoxin means that U.S. peanuts are no longer the preferred origin in international markets. You may not be surprised what it costs the industry in a year with significant aflatoxin. You probably will be surprised at what it costs every year, even a very good quality year. Let’s hope this renewed focus will lead to breakthroughs to make aflatoxin history to the industry. 

Speaking of history, it’s available if you find a need or would like to own a recounting of important events and market news. Tyron Spearman, The Peanut Grower’s marketing editor is also editor of Peanut Farm Market News, which is entering its 35th year. If you would like to own all 35 years’ worth of issues, more than 5,000 pages, it’s available on a jump drive. 

Spearman, who was recently honored with an endowed scholarship that you can read about on page 7, says, “Our goal is to provide you and your company information about the U.S. peanut industry and the people who have made this industry grow and prosper. Thanks for subscribing and always thanks for your friendship and helpful information.” 

Copies will be sold for $400 each. For information, contact Angela at spearmanagency@friendlycity.net.

Finally, page 18 is a reminder to make notes about your disease history this season for better planning next year. With that, I will see you again in 2023. 

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