Peanut Trade Meeting

A peanut trade group wrapped up a two-day meeting in southwest Georgia with little excitement over this year's crop.

Farmers in several southern states face drought and record-high fuel prices.

The National Peanut Buying Points Association represents 416 businesses from Virginia to New Mexico that grade, classify and inspect peanuts as they move from farms to consumers.

They met near Fort Gaines, along the Alabama border.

Fuel prices and lower commodity prices prompted U.S. growers to reduce peanut acreage this year to its lowest level since 1915.

Drought in Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia could cause a further reduction.

A University of Georgia peanut expert said just the cost of irrigation and controlling insects will make this the state's most expensive crop ever, unless there is persistent rain between now and the September harvest.