Nuttin' Doin'

In addition to the heavy rains earlier this year, peanut farmers have to deal with another threat to their profits.

It's a plan by the National Peanut Promotion Board, which would tack on a one percent fee on all "option" contracts which pre-arrange peanut sales before the crop is even grown.

Van Murphy, a peanut expert, says, "We've seen consumption go up in the last year and it surprised me a little bit that they pass that assertion because I think peanut farmers feel like they're paying enough at this point in time."

Other farmers agree, saying they don't see a reason for a new fee. The proposed fee now under consideration would cost farmers about 45 cents per ton. It doesn't sound like much, but farmers say it all adds up.

Murphy says, "Producers are struggling at this point in time. Yields are not as good as they have been in years past and those dollars will add up into what money the farmers would normally take home."

Despite the disagreement over the proposed fee, local peanut farmers think a compromise is possible.

Murphy adds, "Producers understand promotion and we all want to promote our product. I think farmers are willing to help, but there is a limit to what they are willing to do."