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Creamy and CrunchyAn Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food$
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Jon Krampner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162333

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162333.001.0001

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The Peanut Butter Crisis of 1980

The Peanut Butter Crisis of 1980

Chapter:
(p.166) Fourteen The Peanut Butter Crisis of 1980
Source:
Creamy and Crunchy
Author(s):

Jon Krampner

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231162333.003.0014

This chapter focuses on the peanut butter crisis of 1980. The year 1980 was the worst one peanut farmers had seen for two generations. In late August 1980, Roger Knapp, director of commodity purchasing for the company that owned Skippy, was seen to trudge desparately through the sunbaked peanut fields of southern Georgia. Normally that late in the growing season, peanut plants from different rows would have merged into a solid sea of green. But drought made the plants stark and stunted. By mid-October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted a 21 percent drop in peanut production for the current crop year. Total losses for Georgia peanut farmers were estimated at $150 million. With the peanut crop in ruins, the peanut butter industry turned to the White House, where former peanut farmer Jimmy Carter was in charge. Carter refused to increase the peanut import quotas that peanut and peanut butter companies were clamoring for, which proved damaging to his 1980 reelection bid.

Keywords:   peanut butter, peanut farmers, Roger Knapp, Georgia, peanut butter industry, Jimmy Carter, import quotas, drought

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