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October 23, 2019

The Many Advantages of High-Oleic Peanuts for Southeast Growers

Explore the advantages that Southeast peanut growers will enjoy when they shift to high-oleic peanuts due to consumer demand.

The peanut industry is on a roll, with high demand for peanuts in both domestic and overseas markets. However, a lot of that demand is for high-oleic peanuts, and the majority of peanut growers in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina grow the Bailey variety, a non-oleic peanut. Seeds for new high-oleic varieties are available, and many growers are contemplating switching the peanut variety they grow. Find all the advantages of new high-oleic peanuts for Southeastern growers below.

Health Benefits of High-Oleic Peanuts

The impetus behind the demand for high-oleic peanuts is simple: they’re a healthier nut than their non-oleic counterparts. Peanuts have always been a healthy snack, but increasing the oleic values propel peanuts into a “super food” category.

High-oleic peanuts have a high amount of oleic fatty acids. That’s the “good fat” found in olive oil that is believed to help lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and promote good cardiovascular health. High-oleic peanuts have more oleic fatty acids than olive oil itself, meaning they offer an array of health benefits, making it easier to market and sell peanuts that are high-oleic.

Growing Benefits of High-Oleic Peanuts

Growers are attracted by the marketing value of high-oleic peanuts, but they’re worried about yield and disease resistance. The Bailey variety consistently gives good yields and requires few inputs for combating disease. Peanut growers are hesitant to trade Bailey for a peanut variety that is easier to market but might require more effort, more inputs, and delivers a lower yield.

They need not worry, according to Tom Isleib, the peanut breeder at N.C. State who developed Bailey, in a Southeast Farm Press article on the release of Sullivan and Wynne, two new high-oleic cultivars released by N.C. State. Isleib maintained that, in field testing, “their yields and grades have been competitive with or better than Bailey’s. We are also monitoring their disease reactions and flavor profiles.”

It’s not surprising, considering Isleib and his team “backcrossed the gene containing the high-oleic trait into Bailey” as part of making their new high-oleic peanut varieties, according to the article. Seven high-oleic derivatives of Baily are currently in field testing.

As the country’s premier land lender, AgAmerica applauds any advancement that will help strengthen grower’s production and demand. We work hard to help the country’s farmers and ranchers grow and succeed with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit. Read more about our experience funding peanut farm loans.

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