Peanut butter prices about to go up

When peanuts don't get enough water, the shell will grow on the vine, but will not produce the peanut inside / Ashley Knight

Fred Hall learned how to be a peanut farmer from his father here in Baker County. But lately, it's been a very frustrating job since it hasn't really been a rainy peanut season for two years now. And even if you're a farmer with irrigation, you're still suffering.

"But the diesel prices are what's really killing us, you got people running four or five tractors and 100 gallons of diesel a day," says Hall.

And it's a deadly combination of high temperatures and no rain that's been hurting these farmers.

"So kind of a one-two punch of things in the atmosphere that were working against us all summer long," says Meteorologist Chris Nisinger.

And this lack of rain is really hurting peanut crops. Hall says the most devastating thing is when a farmer comes out to check on his peanuts and opens them up and there's nothing inside.

"The peanuts are there, but there's nothing in them. And it just kills us cause what we thought we were gonna make, the peanuts didn't fill out," says Hall.

"And that ends up lowering the yield of the farmers for peanuts especially and of course that raises prices when you take them to market," says Nisinger.

Consumers will see a reflection of that--some peanut butter companies report they will be raising prices by as much as 40%. And unfortunately the recent rain was too little too late for farmers. So how will they recoup that lost revenue?

"You don't recoup. This is the only place in the world that we fall like we do, but we have very little cushion to fall on," says Hall.

But he says, in a time when many farmers are having to sell their farms, he's sticking to his until the end.

"I'm gonna be on top of it until it's on top of me!"

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off