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Relax, There's No More Peanut Shortage

Record crop numbers should mean plenty of peanut butter this year
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2012 7:40 AM CDT
Relax, There's No More Peanut Shortage
Jars of Peter Pan Peanut Butter at a super market in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, file)

(Newser) – Shoppers went a bit nutty earlier this year after two years of drought led to a peanut shortage that sent peanut butter prices skyward. But farmers are now growing the crop in record numbers, which should bring down supermarket prices, reports the Wall Street Journal. Areas in US where the legume is grown mostly skirted this summer's massive drought, and high sales prompted farmers to plant peanuts in large numbers. Farmers also used disease-resistant seeds, which make for a bean well-suited for peanut butter.

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The only issue is that some farmers have not received the equipment they need to harvest their large haul. Still, peanut prices have dropped about 50% since last spring, and the USDA raised its estimate of this year's peanut harvest to 6.1 billion pounds, a record. Peanut butter manufacturers have started promoting the product again, though they wouldn't tell the Journal about when all this might translate into lower prices at the cash register. (Read more peanut butter stories.)

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