Peanuts, also widely known as ground nuts, originated in Peru and are now grown throughout the warmer areas of the world. Areas of high cultivation include the Americas, Africa, South-east Asia and the sub-tropical region of Australia.
Queensland produces over 95% of Australia's peanut crop (only 0.2% of world's production). New South Wales and Northern Territory are the only other peanut producing states but have only small areas for peanuts. In Queensland, the peanut growing areas are the Burnett region (near Kingaroy), Central Queensland (Emerald), Atherton Tableland (Mareeba), Lakeland Downs (just west of Cooktown), on the Darling Downs (Clifton-St George) and in the Brisbane Valley. In New South Wales, peanut areas include the far north coast around Alstonville, around Armidale on the New England Tableland and at Narrabri (under irrigation). Small areas near the Ord River in north-west Western Australia and on the Douglas/Daly River in Katherine region of Northern Territory produce peanuts.
|Australian Peanut Industry
Queensland Peanut Industry
Peanuts have been grown in Australia since the 1880s. Traditionally the two main production areas were the Burnett and the Atherton Tablelands. Since 1990 new irrigated peanut crops have been grown in Bundaberg, Mackay, Emerald and southern Queensland, and these areas now produce 50% of the Australian crop. Queensland produces more than 95% of Australia´s peanuts. - (Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries)
Formally the Peanut Marketing Board, PCA is the largest company shelling and marketing peanuts in Australia. Based in Kingaroy, PCA´s farm management department supports growers with crop management and plant breeding services, agronomists and business analysis. Visit PCA's website for further information.
Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)
The Grains Research & Development Corporation is one of the world's leading grains research organisations, responsible for planning, investing and overseeing research and development, delivering improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.
GRDC supports the peanut industry by funding research and extension projects relevant to the industry and publishes project outlines and reports on their website. For further information visit te GRDC website.
Peanuts are a legume and grow underground. They are planted in Queensland from October through to January and in the Northern Territory mid March to early April. A peanut crop usually matures after about 5 months although growth time depends on the type of peanut grown.
Peanuts are a subtropical crop needing relatively warm growing conditions (20 C + at planting depth) and 500 to 600 mm of well-distributed rainfall or irrigation equivalent, plus stored soil water, to produce a high-yielding crop. Peanuts grow best in sandy loam that has deep friable loam subsoil. Harvesting of peanuts involves their removal from the ground, time to wilt 9 a day or so), then stacking for 4 to 6 weeks.
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries has developed a Growing Guide overviewing considerations for the commercial growing of peanuts.
Grow peanuts in your own home garden (eHow website)
New Tingoora variety of peanut. (Primary Industries and Fisheries, Qld.)
A Best Management Practice CD is available free from the Business Information Centre of the Queensland Government. This product is for peanut growers and their advisors who want to use efficient, sustainable practices to produce economically viable peanuts.
The Peanut Company of Australia has produced a comprehensive 2010 Peanut Production Guide.
Health and Nutrition
Peanuts are high in nutrition containing: vitamin E, magnesium, manganese and niacin.