What’s Growing? 4 U.S. Peanut Varieties to Know

U.S. Peanut Varieties to Know

The peanut may be little, but it’s a big deal in Dothan, the city known as the “peanut capital of the world.” There are four main U.S. peanut varieties to know about, and Dothan specializes in growing the most dominant peanut type in the country.

Let’s Get Nutty!

According to the Alabama Peanut Producers Association’s website, about half of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within a 100-mile radius of the City of Dothan. It’s no wonder Dothan has hosted the National Peanut Festival since 1938 with a fact like that!

These U.S. peanut varieties to know include the most popular—the Runner—as well as the Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia. The Runner makes up for 80% of the total U.S. peanut production. This variety become popular for two reasons. First, they’re attractive. People like the kernel size range of the Runner. Second, the majority of these peanuts are used to make peanut butter!

The next most-produced peanut comes in at 15% and is known as the Virginia. These are the “ballpark peanuts” marketed as in-shell peanuts. When they are shelled, they are sold as salted peanuts. Spanish and Valencia peanuts make up the remaining 5% of peanuts produced and are used for things like peanut candy and boiled peanuts.

A Few Funs Facts About Peanuts:

  • Alabama has 900 peanut farmers.
  • Alabama is the second-largest peanut producer in the U.S. (in and around Dothan producing most of those!)
  • Americans love peanut butter! We eat enough to coat the bottom of the Grand Canyon every year! That’s roughly 3.3 lbs. of peanut butter per person.
  • How many peanuts are in an 18 oz. jar of peanut butter? About 810!
  • One acre of peanuts makes about 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • Peanuts have crazy nicknames like “goobers.”

More about the National Peanut Festival

Usually during the fall harvest, Dothan hosts the National Peanut Festival. This year’s event was cancelled due to public health concerns with COVID-19, but 2021 is tentatively scheduled for early November!

Typically, the National Peanut Festival brings about 120,000 visitors to the area. Since its inception in 1938, it has grown into a carnival-like 10-day event consisting of attractions like agricultural displays, livestock shows, carnival rides, pageants, live music, arts and crafts, food, and of course—plenty of peanuts!


If you decide to run to Dothan for a quick visit, you’re sure to come across a Runner or two! Once you go nuts for the quaint small town, stop by Summer Wood Apartment Homes. Our apartments are move-in ready and you can even bring the family pet! Find out more interesting news and fun things to do in the city by reading our blog.