Peanut production in West Texas is growing and that's why local farmers are excited about the new plant. The plant is undergoing a facelift to make way for 80,000 square feet of peanut processing machinery. "We're looking at probably within the next three months of putting equipment in and painting and getting ready for operation," says plant manager, Jim Booher.
Say goodbye to the Jimmy Dean sausage factory and make way for peanuts. After months of searching for a plant location, the blueprints are complete on what's destined to be the only peanut processing plant in over 300 miles. "It was the right location for us because growers are going to West Texas to grow peanuts so because they're here, we're here," says Booher.
"Peanuts are not a new crop but recently they've become a lot larger," says Peanut Farmer, James Martin. He says more and more farmers are turning to peanuts. "In value it brings in a lot of dollars."
Texas is the second largest peanut producing state, and in West Texas it's one of our largest crops. More than 150,000 acres are grown on the South Plains each year. As peanut production moves from central to West Texas those numbers are expected to increase. "It made it more suitable for this area than central Texas because we do have the irrigation," says Martin.
West Texas weather allows all four varieties of peanuts to flourish. "It'll help Plainview and West Texas in having that plant and that facility there. It's always good news when somebody wants to process that peanut and sell it to somebody that's good," says Martin.
The new peanut facility is not only going to help farmers but the local economy. It's expected to employ almost 100 workers and is scheduled to be up and running this August. However, planting is set to begin next week.