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As the peanut industry is big business today, here are some interesting facts concerning the start and development of the industry in North Carolina and other states.
An abbreviated history of the peanut is discussed in this article from its initial appearance in America to its adoption as a staple crop. Peanuts arrived in America as a cheap food source on slave ships. Planting began in Virginia and by the Civil War the peanut was planted in North Carolina. The author mentions the versatility of this plant; both the meat and shell were used.
Peanut growers in North Carolina are gaining a reputation for efficiency. In 1963, they set three new records including a new peanut production record for the United States. Thirty-nine peanut growers qualified for the Tow-Ton Peanut Club, 26 from Martin County, averaging over 2,000 pound yields per acre.