Georgia farmers sent nearly three times as many peanuts oversees this year than in 2012, though that figure may be a little deceptive. While it's true there are new foreign markets opening up to Georgia peanuts, this enormous year-over-year jump in exports is a product of mother nature, said Tyron Spearman, executive director of the Peanut Buying Points Association in Tifton. "We made a bumper miracle crop last year," he said, explaining that the peanuts that get sold in a given year are usually grown the year before. "We went from about a 3,600 pound average yield per acre to a 4,500 pound average yield per acre, so we had extra peanuts at lower prices and that brought in the world market.
Growers are expected to harvest a million more tons of peanuts than they can sell this year. Federal forecasts put the harvest above three million tons, and some in the industry think that’s a low estimate.