It’s a ‘sweet’ day for farmers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2013

Alabama peanut farmers have a sweet spot for Valentine’s Day. Consumers love to commemorate the “holiday of love” with the gift of candy, and the sweet and salty flavor combination of chocolate and peanuts remains America’s favorite treat.

That’s good news for farmers because nearly 20 percent of peanuts harvested are used in candy production. According to the Alabama Peanut Producers, four of the top 10 selling candy bars contain peanuts or peanut butter. Many candy lovers would insist no box of chocolates is complete without turtles, a traditional confection made of chocolate, caramel and nuts.

Peanuts are an important crop in Alabama, contributing $211.4 million to the state’s economy and employing 2,046 people. Nearly half of national peanut production is located within 100 miles of Dothan, Ala.