Explore one of the most popular and fastest-growing commodities in the country: nuts.
‘Tis the season for “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” but there’d be no idyllic holiday hearth-centered scene without chestnuts and the entire nut industry. Nuts are one of the fastest-growing sectors, and we can’t seem to get enough of them. Nuts are flavorful and good for cooking in dishes ranging from breakfast to dessert. Additionally, nuts pack a healthy punch, making them a snack food of choice for Health Nuts, pun intended! Read about the top 10 nuts in the U.S., and where they’re grown, below.
Top 10 Nuts Grown in the U.S.
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC), U.S. tree nut production in 2012 totaled 2.7 million tons, an increase of 4 percent over the prior year. The demand for most nuts continues to grow, as they are used in both health foods and candies. The AgMRC reports that California grows most of the U.S.’s nuts, though many varieties are grown in the Southeast and Southwest as well.
- Almonds. Almonds are the leading nut by receipts. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), almonds were 16 on the list of top commodities based on receipts in 2016 with over $5 billion. According to AgMRC data, the 2014 almond crop weighed in at 2.15 billion pounds, for a of $6.4 billion. The majority of almonds are grown in California.
- Walnuts. Walnuts are another leading nut. The 2014 walnut crop amounted to 565,000 tons of walnuts, mostly grown in California. The walnut crop had a value of $1.8 billion.
- Pistachios. Pistachios are another favorite nut. According to AgMRC, U.S. pistachio production in 2014 was 460 million pounds, for a total crop value of $1.6 billion. Most pistachios are grown in California, but Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Utah grow about 2 percent of the country’s pistachio crop.
- Peanuts. While not truly a nut (they’re legumes), peanuts are considered a nut in how they are consumed. They are valued for their taste and high protein like other nuts, and they are widely used as garnishes, toppings, as butters or oils, and in desserts. The four different types of peanuts are grown in the Southeast and the Southwest, with states like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas leading the way. Georgia leads the nation in peanut production. In 2016, according to ERS, the peanut harvest was worth over $1 billion.
- Pecans. Another rising favorite for foods, sweets, and baking, pecans totaled 264.2 million pounds in 2014 for a total value of $517 million. Pecans are grown in 14 states, mainly in the South, with Georgia, New Mexico and Texas producing over 75 percent of the nation’s total.
- Hazelnuts. A favorite in various sweets and candies, hazelnuts are grown primarily in Oregon. In 2014, the total crop weighed in at 36 tons, with a value of $129 million.
- Chestnuts. The nuts of holiday carol fame, chestnuts are primarily grown in Michigan, Florida, California, Oregon, Virginia, and Iowa. However, the U.S. imports the majority of its chestnut consumption.
- Macadamia Nuts. Hailing from Australia, these tropical nuts are grown mainly in Hawaii, but trees can also be found in California and Florida. They are typically used for confectionary, baking, ice cream, and snack food industries.
- Pine Nuts. Also called pignolias, pine nuts are desired in cooking and other applications for their unique flavoring and pine nut oil. Pine nuts are grown in the Southwest, and there could be a potential for expansion.
- Cashews. Another food favorite, these tropical nuts may find footing in southern Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
AgAmerica’s tree nut farm loans and peanut loans are great options for popular commodities with a strong growth forecast. Contact us to talk with a knowledgeable team member on how our custom loans can benefit you and your agribusiness.