Stanley Fletcher, University of Georgia ag economist and director of the National Center for Peanut Competitiveness, provided an overview on the tour regarding peanut production across the U.S. According to the September 11, 2009, crop production report by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service peanut production is forecast at 3.68 billion pounds, down 29 percent from 2008. For 2009 planting was delayed by several weeks due to wet weather during the month of May. During this past year with the farmers checkoff money in organizations like the Georgia Peanut Commission and the National Peanut Board, we did not see the drop in peanut butter usage as one would have predicted due to the salmonella recall, Fletcher says. These checkoff organizations were able to help with marketing efforts and promoting peanuts and peanut butter.