Discover agricultural commodities that thrive across the U.S.
Seasonal commodities vary by state, of course, due to differing soil and weather conditions – but some states on opposite ends of the country, or in completely different regions, manage to produce the same agricultural commodities. Interesting, right?
Pecans & Peanuts Grow Across the U.S.
According to the U.S. Pecan Growers Council, pecans are grown commercially in 15 southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. The crop production statistics are impressive: The U.S. is the world’s leading producer of pecans, producing between 250 and 300 million pounds of pecans annually. Georgia – the country’s top pecan-producing state – accounts for approximately a third of U.S. pecan production.
However, while pecans are grown across the nation, the varieties differ. For example, New Mexico is best-suited for the Western Schley, Cheyenne, Ideal (Bradley), and Wichita pecan varieties, but Georgia produces a broader range of varieties such as Caddo, Cape Fear, Desirable, and Summer.
Georgia is also the top peanut-producing state in the U.S., growing about 42 percent of all the nation’s peanuts. The commodity is also grown in nine other states – Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Crop production by state varies depending on which of the three regions the state falls in. The Georgia-Florida-Alabama-Mississippi region mostly grows medium-kernel Runner peanuts and produces about 68 percent of all U.S. peanuts. The Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico region produces Spanish, Runner, and some Virginia type varieties. The Virginia-Carolina area primarily grows large-kernel Virginia type peanuts. Each region follows a similar list of farming practices, although different precautions may be taken to prevent disease or fungus growth.
U.S. Peach & Sweet Potato Production
Peaches are commercially produced in 23 states, but the top states in peach production are California, South Carolina, Georgia, and New Jersey. Georgia and South Carolina provide peaches from May to August, but New Jersey’s peach season lasts from late June through September. In addition, California clingstone peaches are available from early July to mid-September, while California freestone peaches are harvested from mid- to late April to early October.
Sweet potatoes also have a presence in various states, with North Carolina currently the No. 1 sweet potato producing state in the U.S. California comes in second, followed by Mississippi and Louisiana.
Farming practices for sweet potatoes differ based on the region in which they’re grown. In California, sweet potatoes are grown in sand in the San Joaquin Valley, a low spot where rivers deposited sand many years ago. According to the California Sweetpotato Council, this “special sandy loam naturally resists insects and weeds and is the perfect place for our sweet potatoes to catch some rays.”
In Mississippi, many farmers take a more elaborate approach, first laying sweet potato roots from the previous years’ crop in a single layer on prepared soil that is fertilized and moist, then covering them with one to two inches of additional soil. When the plants are 8 to 10 inches tall, they’re cut and transplanted to a field where they’re given typical weed, pest, and disease control management.
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