Orangeburg, SC (WLTX)- It is a record-setting year for South Carolina peanut farmers. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture says farmers planted a record 105,000 acres of peanuts. Just ten years ago that number was 10,000 acres.
Monty Rast is a peanut farmer, he is the owner of Rast Farms and part owner of Carolina Peanut in Cameron, South Carolina.
"We are really growing as a state in the peanut industry," said Rast.
Hugh Weathers, a commissioner with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, says many farmers who used to grow tobacco are now growing peanuts.
"No one would guess we are the 5th highest peanut producer in the country," said Weathers
And those peanuts mean jobs for people around the state.
"It is adding to our farm economy and we create jobs, like the jobs at the drying station and our graders."
The SCDA hired 69 peanut inspectors to help with this season's grading process. Each part-time employee is trained to grade the peanuts for sale. There are 420 peanut farmers across 14 South Carolina Counties.