Title Page
 The peanut, its culture and...
 Planting peanuts
 Uses of peanuts

Group Title: Bulletin New Series
Title: Peanut growing in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014605/00001
 Material Information
Title: Peanut growing in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin New Series
Physical Description: 19 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: Dept. of Agriculture
Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1935
Subject: Peanuts -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: "July, 1935."
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: Library copy missing p. 19.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014605
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7080
ltuf - AKD9623
oclc - 28552206
alephbibnum - 001962946

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    The peanut, its culture and uses
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Planting peanuts
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Uses of peanuts
        Page 17
        Page 18
Full Text

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I I1

The Peanut, Its Culture and Uses

Very little is known regarding the early history of
the peanut in the United States except that it was
brought into the country during the period of slave
importation and became established along the James
River in Virginia. It is not until after the Civil War
that we find any record of peanuts becoming a com-
mercial crop, and then only on a small scale. Prior
to this time peanuts were grown in gardens for home
use, and the nuts when parched were considered a
great treat by the children. Soon the value of peanuts
as a money crop was recognized and farmers began
growing an acre or two for the market, and upon this
beginning has been built an industry that represents
twelve to fifteen millions of dollars annually. During
the early days of the peanut industry only one or two
varieties were recognized, those having the largest
pods being known as "Virginians," and the smaller
podded sorts as "Africans." Soon the farmers ob-
served that among the large pod variety there were
certain plants that were of a more compact or bunch
habit than the general crop, which spread or ran
upon the ground; also that these bunch plants pro-
duced larger pods than the runner type. Accordingly
the two sorts were separated, and the names of
"Virginia Bunch" and "Virginia Runner" given them.
The habits of the peanuts render it especially
adapted to cultivation on the sandy soils throughout
the Southern States, and the wide range of uses to
which it may be put makes it a valuable addition to
our farm crops. During past years the greater part
of the commercial peanut crop has been produced in
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia
-and Tennessee. With the boll weevil injuring the
cotton crop of the Southeastern States, the peanut
promises to become an important money crop and a
part of the regular farm rotation of this section. In
many cases the peanut has proven,.fully as profitable
as any other farm crop. The pri auction of peanuts


has not kept pace with the increased demand, and
there is little danger, for the present at least, of over-
stocking the market. Spanish peanuts can be grown
for about 2'/ cents a pound, and when the general
market becomes supplied the oil mills can handle the
surplus, making therefrom one of the finest cooking
oils that can be produced. The cake resulting from
the manufacture of oil is valuable for stock feeding
and fertilizer. There is always the opportunity to
convert peanuts into pork that will bring fancy prices.
The famous Smithfield hams and bacon, which sell
at from 30 to 40 cents a pound, are made from hogs
that are partly fed on peanuts. All kinds of live
stock will eat and thrive on peanut and peanut hay.
The peanut belongs to the same family of plants as
do the clovers, alfalfa, beans and peas, but has the
peculiar habit of developing its seeds underground
instead of on top, as do most of the legumes. During
the early days when peanuts were first cultivated it
was thought necessary to cover the blossoms with soil
in order to secure well-filled pods. It is only neces-
sary, however, that there should be a bed of loose soil
surrounding the plants, and they will then care for
themselves. The blossoms of the peanut appear above
ground, shooting out from where the leaf joins the
stem, and after fertilization takes place the flower
withers and the little stem or peg elongates and
pushes down into the earth, where the pod develops.
This habit of the peanut has an important bearing
upon the production of the crop, in that peanuts
should be planted only upon loose, sandy soils, and the
soil must be well cultivated and loose in order that
the pegs may enter the soil and form pods.
In common with other legumes the peanut has the
power, through the agency of bacteria upon its roots,
to draw the nitrogen from the air and not only use
it for its own growth but to store it for the use of
other plants as well. An illustration of this may be
had by pulling up a peanut plant and noting the im-
mense number of nitrogen-gathering nodules upon-
its roots.

Peanuts thrive best on a rather loose, sandy loam
soil, such as is found in abundance throughout the
Southern States. The soil should be well drained or
what is ordinarily termed a "warm" soil. Peanuts
can be grown on the heavier alluvial soils, but are
easier to cultivate and mature better on the light,
sandy loam soils. It will pay to prepare the land for
peanuts in a most thorough manner, and much of the
difficulty in keeping the crop clean will be avoided by
harrowing or disking the land two or three times be-
fore planting. The Spanish variety may be grown on
much heavier land than the Virginia Bunch or Runner.

Peanuts should not be grown exclusively on any
farm, but in rotation with other crops. Peanuts are
adapted to growing in a system with corn, cowpeas,
oats, cotton and Irish potatoes, the cropping arrange-
ments being made to conform to local requirements.
The crop of peanuts should invariably follow some
crop that has been kept cultivated and reasonably
clean, as this decreases the labor required to keep the
weeds under control.
When fitting land for peanuts it should be plowed
about the same depth as for corn, broadcast plowing
being preferable to bedding. If the land has been
in corn the previous season it should be plowed in
ample time to allow the materials that are turned
under to thoroughly decay before planting time.
Some growers prefer to bed the land and then drag
down almost level before planting, but on the whole
it is better to keep the surface smooth and then work
the soil toward the rows in cultivating.

Commercial fertilizers, if any are used, should be
applied about the time the land is given its last har-
rowing before planting. A crop of 60 bushels of
peanuts will require about 85 pounds of nitrogen, 15
pounds of phosphoric acid, 32 pounds of potash and
48 pounds of lime. It would be difficult to secure a

fertilizer that would supply these elements in the
above proportions; in fact, it would not be profitable
to retain all of these elements, especially the nitrogen,
in the soil by means of commercial fertilizers. A
fertilizer containing about 2 per cent nitrogen, 8 per
cent phosphoric acid, and 8 per cent potash, is recom-
mended for peanuts, and this may profitably be ap-
plied at the rate of 200 to 400 pounds to the acre.
This will add the necessary phosphoric acid and
potash to grow a crop, but only a small part of the
nitrogen. The remaining nitrogen can be secured
more cheaply through the agency of cowpeas, crimson
clover, and the peanuts themselves if they are proper-
ly handled.
Stable manure is not a desirable fertilizer for pea-
nuts unless applied about a year in advance. The
objections to manure are that it carries with it too
many weed seeds and also produces a rank growth
of peanut vine at the expense of the peanuts.
Lime is essential to the proper ripening of the
peanuts, and where not already abundantly present
should be applied to the soil. Marl is often used as
a substitute for lime, being hauled and spread upon
the land during the winter months. Ordinary lime
may be used at the rate of 300 to 400 pounds to the
acre on land being planted to peanuts. In many
cases the soils of the Southern States are pretty well
supplied with lime. Where there is any doubt about
the matter lime should be applied to a portion of the
field at least and its influence upon the yield and
ripening of the peanuts observed. The lime should
be applied to the surface after plowing and while
fitting the land for planting.
Wood ashes are an excellent fertilizer for peanuts,
as they contain both potash and lime. Unfortunately,
the supply of wood ashes is quite limited and only
small quantities may be secured. Where obtainable,
unleached wood ashes may be applied to peanut
land at a rate not exceeding 1,200 pounds to the acre.
Several methods are followed in distributing the
fertilizers for peanuts, and while some growers em-
ploy a one-horse distributor and sow the fertilizer
where the row is to be, others scatter it broadcast
and harrow it into the soil. The roots of peanuts

do not spread like those of corn, and it may be more
economical to apply the fertilizers to the row rather
than broadcast.


Careful selection of seed is just as important with
peanuts as with any other farm or garden crop. Our
best varieties have originated by selection, and it
stands to reason that they may be still further im-
proved by the same process. The best of the crop
should always be saved for seed, and wherever a
particularly fine plant is found it should be saved
separately and the peas planted in a row to them-
selves, or in a small patch where they can be closely
observed. If several extra fine plants were selected
and the peanuts from each saved separately, this
seed might be planted in a special seed plat, a row
being devoted to the product of each plant. In this
way comparisons may be made from time to time and
the best saved for further selection. The ideal plant
should not only produce a large number of pods, but
the pods should be well filled, uniform in size, smooth,
and of bright color. The peas themselves should be
plump, bright, uniform in shape, and well filled. If
a grower does not have a good strain of seed, he
should purchase from someone who has given the
matter attention; then in future years give especial
care to the matter of saving good seed.
The seed of the large varieties of peanuts are
practically all shelled by hand for planting. In the
case of the Spanish the peas practically fill the pods,
making it difficult to remove the shell by hand. The
machines used in the factories for shelling peanuts
break the peas more or less, and even when the peas
are not broken the germination is often injured by
the rough usage in shelling. For this reason it has
been found safer to plant the Spanish peas in the
shell almost exclusively. The shelled peas will sprout
a little more quickly than those in the shells but a

few days' time will not make any material difference.
If desirable, the pods may be soaked in water for a
few hours before planting, in order to hasten germin-
The machines now upon the market for planting
peanuts are constructed somewhat upon the plan of
the one-horse cotton planter. These machines are
well adapted to planting the shelled peas, both of the
large and small varieties, and, if the peas are clean
and free from stems, are quite satisfactory for plant-
ing the Spanish nuts in the shells.
In using the one-horse machine the land is first
laid off in rows by means of a marker similar to that
used in laying off corn rows. The planter is then
run in this mark, and it drops, covers and rolls at
one operation. The different distances of planting
are regulated by changing a gear wheel on the
For hand-dropping, furrows or marks are made
with a sweep-stock or single shovel just a little in
advance of the droppers to prevent drying out. The
seed peanuts are hauled to the field in bags, and
close-woven baskets of about half-bushel size have
been found desirable to drop from. The droppers
simply take a small handful and work them between
the thumb and first finger, at the same time stooping
slightly in order to drop the pods at regular distances.
Behind the droppers the seed is covered by means of
a cultivator having the center teeth removed and a
notched board placed across the rear portion, the
notch coming directly over the row. The horse that
draws the covering cultivator or harrow should be
hitched with a side draft so that it will not walk di-
rectly upon the row.

The planting distances will depend upon the variety
being grown; also upon the strength of the land.
For the Virginia Bunch variety the usual distances

are 30 to 36 inches between the rows and 10 to 12
inches in the row; for Virginia Runners the rows
are placed 36 to 40 inches apart and the plants 12 to
16 inches apart in the rows. For Spanish and other
similar varieties the rows are placed from 32 to 38
inches apart and the plants 8 to 12 inches apart in
the rows.
The depth to cover the seed will depend some-
what upon the compactness of the soil. If the soil is
of a light sandy nature and in good condition the
seed should be covered about an inch deep. Should
the soil at planting time be quite dry it will be de-
sirable to cover the seed at least 112 or 2 inches to
insure germination.

After planting, seed peanuts are often molested
by moles, crows and pigeons; blackbirds are also
accused of destroying the young plants just as they
come through the ground. For the protection of the
seed in the soil from moles it is permissible to coat
the shells very lightly with pine tar thinned with
kerosene. It would hardly be permissible to coat the
shelled seed with tar, although a few peas might be
tarred and mixed with the regular seed. For pro-
tection against crows, stretch lines of white string
across the field; also scatter a few tarred peas over
the surface of the ground. Pigeons are perhaps the
most difficult to either frighten or repel, and the
use of a shotgun is the most certain remedy. If the
seed are all securely covered in planting there will
not be so great danger of crows or other birds get-
ting a start upon them.

The tools adapted for the cultivation of peanuts
are practically the same as those required for corn.
Shortly after planting the peanut field may be gone
over once or twice with a weeder of the King or Hal-


lock type, or with a light harrow, to loosen the sur-
face and destroy weeds that are starting. In using
these tools very little attention need be paid to the
rows; in fact, many growers prefer to go directly
across the rows. Later, after the plants appear and
the rows can be followed, one or two teeth can be re-
moved from the weeder, and this type of cultivation
continued until the plants are large enough for work-
ing with regular corn cultivators. A two-horse
spring-tooth riding cultivator is one of the best im-
plements for handling the peanut crop and after the
plants attain considerable size the spring teeth can
be changed for regular shovel teeth. A one-horse
cultivator having five teeth is also an excellent imple-
ment, as the size of the shovels can be increased as
the crop becomes larger, or hillers can be attached
for working the soil toward the rows of plants.

Throughout the growing of a crop of peanuts it
should be the aim to keep the entire surface of the
soil fine and loose, and a bed of loose soil near the
plants in which the pods may form. It is scarcely
necessary to add that the crop should be kept free
from weeds. At the first cultivation it is considered
a good practice to throw the soil well toward the
plants, forming a bed, at the same time leaving a
small furrow in the center of the alley to provide
drainage in case of heavy rains. It is not necessary
to cover the blossoms or to throw soil over the vines.
Some growers follow the practice of rolling the pea-
nuts to make the pegs go into the ground and form
pods. The best method is to provide an abundance
of loose earth near the plants and they will have no
difficulty in plants setting pods. Care should be
taken, however, that the pegs that are already rooted
be not disturbed by the final cultivation. Hand
hoeing may be necessary, especially during a rainy
season, when the grass grows rapidly.
Peanuts are harvested by lifting the vines from
the ground with the pods attached and then stacking


them around small poles to cure. Proper harvesting
and curing is the most important part of the handling
of the peanut crop. Many persons who are growing
peanuts for the first time have an idea that the crop
may be handled in some easier and cheaper way than
by stacking, but many years of practice has shown
that stacking around poles is the simplest and best
method. By placing the vines and peas in small
stacks they are permitted to dry slowly and at the
same time are in so small quantity that they will not
become musty.
The proper time for harvesting the peanut crop is
indicated by a ripening appearance of the vines.
This consists of a slight yellowing of the foliage and
a drooping of the vines. A few days later some of
the lower leaves will begin to fall, especially if the
weather is dry. To the northern limits of the peanut
territory the harvesting should be done just before
frost. Many beginners insist upon digging their
peanut crop too early and before the peas have fully
matured. It is true that there may be a pod now and
then which bursts and sends forth a sprout, but the
number of these are few as compared with those of
later formation which are rapidly filling. Where
good peanut hay is especially desirable the crop
should be harvested in time to secure the best quality
of vine and leaf.
The usual custom in the older peanut sections has
been to simply run a plow under the roots and lift
them from the ground. Sometimes a specially de-
signed plow is used having a share or point with a
broad wing to extend beneath the plants; in other
cases an ordinary plow is used, but the turning or
moldboard is removed to prevent the furrow being
turned, the idea being to simply loosen the plants.
This practice of plowing out the crop has been re-
sponsible in a great measure for the general deple-
tion of soil fertility throughout the peanut belt. To
maintain soil fertility these roots must be left in the
soil. By the old method of plowing out the crop al-
most all of the roots are removed, and as they have
not subsequently been returned to the soil, depletion


of fertility has been the result. The proper method
is to employ a tool which will cut off the greater por-
tion of the root and leave it in the soil. In several
sections the farmers have had special tools made for
running under the peanut vines, and some of these
are worthy of more general use.
Some of the regular machine potato diggers have
been found quite satisfactory for harvesting peanuts,
but as a rule these implements have not sufficient
clearance to allow a heavy growth of peanut vines to
pass through. At present very much larger machines
are being perfected and especially adapted to the
work in the peanut fields. The machine or elevator
potato diggers require about four strong mules to pull
them, but may be so regulated that the sharp point
of the digger will cut off the roots just below where
the peanuts are formed, carry the vines with the
peas attached up and over the elevator device, and
deliver them on the ground behind the machine with
practically all of the soil shaken from them. An
outfit of this kind will dig from 8 to 12 acres daily
.and require about 20 hands to stack the vines behind
it. In land that is weedy there is always difficulty
in harvesting the crop, regardless of the kind of im-
plement used for digging.

As already mentioned, the proper method of curing
peanuts is to stack them, vines and all, around stakes
set in the field where the crop is grown. Before
starting to harvest the crop provide the small poles
to be used as stakes around which to stack the pea-
nuts. These stakes should be 7 feet in length by
about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, and may be either
split out of large logs or simply small saplings with
the bark upon them. From 12 to 35 of these poles
will be required for each acre, according to the stand
and growth of vine; the rule, however, is about 22
Stacks to the acre. Have the poles hauled and piled
where they can be conveniently distributed through
the peanut field when the rush of harvesting comes on.


As a rule, 11, 13 or 15 rows of peanuts are placed
in a single row of stacks. The digging machine is
started in the center, on the row where the stacks
are to stand, and is worked outward until the neces-
sary number of rows are lifted. After the machine
has gained sufficient headway the poles are dis-
tributed at distances varying from 12 to 20 paces
and set in the ground by means of a pointed bar, a
peg and a maul, or by a post-hole digger, and tamp-
ed in place. The stake should be set into the soil
sufficiently deep to prevent the stack blowing over.
On the other hand, they should not be set so deeply
as to prevent their being easily lifted with the stack
at thrashing time.
Peanuts should not be handled when there is dew
or rain upon the foliage, but aside from this, they
may be stacked within an hour or two after digging.
Before starting to build the stack, nail a couple of
short pieces of lath at right angles across the stake
about 8 inches from the ground, then simply build
the stack upon these, keeping the peas or roots close
around the pole and giving the outer part of the
stack a downward slope to carry off the water during
rains. As the stack is nearing completion it should
be kept higher in the center and drawn to a point.
If convenient, the top of the stack may be finished
with a bundle of dry grass, or a few peanut vines
may simply be rolled together and pressed down over
the top of the hole. Wet or green hay should never
be placed on top of the stack. When completed, the
stack should be about 6 feet in height and 20 inches
in diameter.
Once the peanut vines are in the stacks they will
be comparatively safe for 5 or 6 weeks, or until they
are dry enough to pick from the vines. As a rule,
the curing period will require at least 4 weeks, and
if the peas are not molested by birds, field mice, rats
or thieves they may remain in the stacks for 3 or 4
months without injury. The crop will not be ready
to pick from the vines until the stems have become
brittle and the peas have attained a nutty flavor.


Formerly peanuts were all picked from the vines
by hand, the work being done largely by negro
women and children. Recently there have been
developed several machines for doing this work.
These peanut-picking machines are of two types, one
having a cylinder like the ordinary grain thrashers,
and in the other a picking mesh of diagonally woven
wire is employed.
The essentials of a satisfactory peanut-picking
machine are, first, that the pods should be picked
clean from the vines without breaking or cracking
the shells; and, second, that the peanuts be cleaned
of all the coarser dirt and separated from the pieces
of stems. There is always a small quantity of very
fine dirt adhering to the hulls of the peanut, which
must be separated from them in the cleaning factory.
The greatest objection to the work of peanut thrashers
in the past is that they broke too many of the shells,
in many cases breaking the kernels as well and ren-
dering them unsalable. This breaking of the shell is
a more serious damage than might appear at first
thought, as the keeping qualities of the nuts depend
upon their not becoming broken. There are a num-
ber of insects which attack peanuts while in storage,
especially during the summer months, and these can-
not injure the kernel unless the shell is cracked or
The picking of peanuts is paid for at so much per
bag of about 4 bushels, 35 cents a bag being the
ruling price. In some sections the owners of the
picking machines do the work for every tenth bag,
or where they provide a baling machine and press
the peanut hay into bales they take every eighth
bag, but none of the hay. Hand-picking is paid for
at the rate of from 40 to 50 cents a hundred pounds.

As the peanuts come from the picker they are
placed in sacks and either hauled direct to the cars
or stored for later delivery. The standard peanut


bag is about 4 bushels, 90 or 92 pounds of Virginias
and 110 to 120 of Spanish. As the bags are filled
they are sewed and tied at the corners to facilitate
handling. If the peanuts are not to be sold imme-
diately they are often taken from the bags and
stored in bins or in slatted cribs where they will get
air. The storage room should be proof against rats
and mice.
The peanut vines, if properly cared for after the
removal of the peas, make an excellent hay. The
best plan is to have a baling press working while
the thrashing or picking is being done and press the
vines into moderate-size bales.
The peanut-picking machines break the hay con-
siderably, but by careful handling in baling the
leaves and stems can be worked into the bales to-
gether in proper proportions. The feeding value of
peanut hay renders it worth while to take special
precautions in curing and handling it. One important
point in curing peanut hay is to get the vines into
the small stack soon after digging them; also to avoid
having the hay become wet by rains.
At present about five varieties of peanuts are
grown in the United States, these being known as
Virginia Runner, Virginia Bunch, African (or North
Carolina), Spanish, and Valencia, commonly known
as Tennessee Red. The Virginia Runner and Bunch
produce peas that are practically alike, these being
the Jumbo or parching peanuts of our markets. The
African, or North Carolina, as it has come to be
called in this country, has a spreading vine and pro-
duces a medium-size pea, which is used for shelling
purposes and for the smaller grades of parching
stock. The Spanish variety is the small peanut, with
only two peas in a pod, which is used so extensively
for the manufacture of salted peanuts, peanut butter,
etc. The Spanish has an upright or bunch habit of
growth, with the peanuts clustered about the base of
the plant. The Valencia, or Tennessee Red variety,
has rather large and sometimes very long pods, with
anywhere from two to seven small red peas crowded
together in the pods. The Valencia is in demand for


use in the manufacture of salted peanuts and peanut
butter. A form of the Valencia known as Georgia
Red or Red Spanish is extensively grown for hog and
cattle feeding in parts of the Southern States. How-
ever, this variety is not desirable for the market.
For the present the true Spanish, or white Spanish,
as it is sometimes called, is the proper variety to grow
throughout the Southeastern States, as it is easy of
cultivation and contains a high percentage of oil.
The peanuts as they come from the picking ma-
chine on the farm are generally bagged, and either
hauled direct to the cars or stored for a short time
in barns or sheds until they can be shipped. It
should be the aim of every grower to have his crop
go into the bags in just as clean a condition as pos-
sible, free from stones, sticks, dirt and pieces of
stems. Where the peanuts are not properly cleaned
the buyers are compelled to dock the weights, and
this always results in dissatisfaction to both parties.
If the peas are not clean as they come from the
thrasher they should be run through a fanning mill
to blow out the dirt, and afterwards picked over by
hand if necessary.
Peanuts are comparatively light to handle and can
be transported considerable distances, and it is not
necessary to have a factory in every section where
peanuts are grown. As a rule, the buyers from the
factories come to the various shipping points to
inspect, purchase, and load the peanuts into the cars
as they are hauled in by the farmers. Another
method is where the factory is represented in a town
by a merchant who buys the peanuts from the
farmers and stores them until wanted for shipment
to the factory.
The unit in handling peanuts is the pound rather
than the bushel or bag. The large Virginia peanuts
weigh about 22 pounds to the measured bushel,
while the Spanish weigh about 30 pounds to the
bushel. By using the pound as the unit in buying
and selling peanuts, the troublesome question of


weight per bushel will be avoided. Peanuts grown
in one section may weigh more to the bushel than
those grown in another or even an adjoining terri-
In the factory the peanuts are fanned and polished
to remove the dirt, and are separated into a number
of different grades. During the process they are
carefully picked over by hand and cleaned until the
finished products would scarcely be recognized as
coming from the rough stock that was shipped in by
the farmer. All of the shelled or broken peas must
be separated from the whole ones and worked into
shelled stock of various grades.
In the factories where the Spanish are handled
the process is not so complicated, yet even here there
is the same careful hand-picking to remove inferior
peas and refuse not taken out by the cleaning ma-
chinery. The peas are passed over a fan, then are
shelled and the hulls thrown out. Next the peas are
run through a machine which separates the split or
broken peas from the whole ones. The different
grades are then run on what are termed picking belts,
beside which a large number of women are seated
and pick out every inferior pea or particles of foreign
matter. The refuse from a peanut factory often
contains practically every waste or cast-off article
that may be found on the farm. After the cleaning
process is completed the peanuts are bagged in clean,
new burlap bags and marked with a stencil showing
the brand, grade, and name of the cleaner.
Peanuts now find uses in a great many ways aside
from being roasted and sold in packages. There is
a great and ever-increasing demand for peanuts to
be used in the preparation of salted peanuts, peanut
butter, peanut candies, peanut flour, and vegetarian
meat substitutes. Owing to the high nutritive prop-
erties of peanuts they are rapidly assuming an im-
portant place as a standard human food, ranking in
this respect with other legumes which they resemble


in composition. The consumption of peanut butter
alone amounts to hundreds of carloads of the product
In France and Germany millions of bushels of
peanuts are annually crushed for oil, the oil being
used for cooking, for salad making, and in the place
of butter, while the cake resulting from the manu-
facture of the oil is used as stock feed. In this
country we have many oil mills that are either idle
or running on short time on account of the shortage
of cotton seed, and it is only a matter of a little time
until our production of peanuts will enable us to
build up a great industry in the manufacture of pea-
nut oil. In general, the oil from the peanut has the
same culinary and table uses as olive oil, cottonseed
oil, and some other vegetable oils, and like them, is
considered a wholesome and valuable food product.
Thirty pounds, or a bushel, of Spanish peanuts will
yield 1 gallon of oil and about 20 pounds of cake. A
gallon of this oil was worth before the European war
began about 75 cents wholesale and the cake about
114 cents a pound, or 25 cents, making a total of $1
from a bushel, from which the working cost must be
taken. If we assume that an average of 40 bushels
of Spanish peanuts can be grown to an acre, we have
a very profitable proposition in the manufacture of
peanut oil at present prices, especially when the pea-
nut hay will practically pay the cost of growing the
The analysis of peanuts shows them to contain the
following food constituents:
Protein hydrates Fat
Peanuts in the hull ---....-----......20.4 16.4 36.2
Peanut kernels ...........-----------.. 26.8 17.5 44.9
Peanut cake or meal from
hulled nuts .---...---....------........ 47.6 23.7 8.0
Peanut cake or meals, hulls
included .............-- .--......------28.4 27.0 11.1
Peanut hulls -------..............------- 7.3 18.9 2.6

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