COVID impacts baseball and Virginia peanuts

Sometimes, the best part about going to a sporting even can be the delicious food. However with those canceled games, most of the food is left in storage and that includes ballpark peanuts. The Virginia Farm Bureau reports on how producers are still encouraging consumers to eat them.

“Baseball and peanuts go hand-in-hand...When they wrote the song ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’, they put peanuts in there for a reason.”

Paul Rogers farms peanuts in Sussex County, Virginia and serves on the National Peanut Board. He says that the good news is that growers have already been paid for the peanuts that are uneaten at the baseball field.

Peanuts are an important part of southeastern Virginia’s farm economy. A glut of peanuts on the market this fall is not a good sign, especially with this years crop looking very promising.

Dale Cotton with the Virginia Peanut Growers Association notes that Virginia style peanuts have a unique marketing niche. They are only raised in 8 counties in southeast Virginia and North Carolina, and are the only nuts sold in-shell.

The lack of sales at the ballpark is significant. However, sports fans can still get their peanut fix.

“We’re very fortunate in at least many of your in-shell processors also deal with other markets of peanuts too,” Cotton notes. “One of the major ones, also make peanut butter. So, instead of putting peanuts into baseball games they may well choose to do it peanut butter... So, you loose on the one hand and gain on the other hand.”