Growing Peanuts In Washington

Growing Peanuts In Washington

Yesterday we talked about the first commercial peanut crop planted in Washington on Friehe Farms. Today Travis Meacham with Friehe Farms talks about what prompted them to plant peanuts here.

MEACHAM: We’re always looking for a little bit of diversity in what we grow and here in the Columbia Basin it’s a place where you can grow just about anything and we wanted to try a crop that would fit in with our rotation and maybe something that was maybe a little bit unique. A couple of other people had some ideas about peanuts growing and then we got hooked up with a company out of Seattle that had a market where they could make some peanut butter and had been doing pretty well and so we partnered up with them and thought it would be a good chance to give it a go and see what we could do.

Aren’t peanuts typically a southern crop?

MEACHAM: Yes, it is typically a southern crop but I think we do have the day length and enough heat here in the Columbia Basin to do it. We planted them in a couple of weeks ago on May 8, and right now the peanuts are out of the ground and looking good.

What other crops are used in the rotation?

MEACHAM: Our main crop that we grow on the farm is potatoes, but we also grow wheat and bluegrass and sweet corn.

Any equipment issues?

MEACHAM: We’re using the same planter that we use to plant our sweet corn. The only real difference in equipment is going to be at harvest time. We did find some stuff that people had experimented with here in the Northwest and I think we found enough equipment to get the first harvest through with local equipment.

If all goes well Friehe Farms should be harvesting their first peanut crop in mid September.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network. 

Previous ReportGrowing Peanuts
Next ReportCRP General Sign-Up Numbers Released