There are many varieties of peanuts, but there are only four basic types: Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia.
Runners are the dominant type. Runners are high-yielding, and have uniformed kernels in each pod. Runners grow mainly in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.
Virginias are grown mostly in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Virginias have the largest kernels. Virginias are mostly processed in the shell.
Spanish peanuts are a smaller kernel and are covered with reddish-brown skin. Spanish peanuts are high in oil and are mainly used in peanut candies, snacks and peanut butter. Spanish Peanuts are mainly grown in Oklahoma and Texas.
Sweet Valencias contain three or more small kernels in each pod. Valencias are usually roasted in the shell for the "ballpark peanuts," or sold fresh for boiling. They are grown primarily in New Mexico.
Peanuts are grown throughout the world and are found in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. India and China provide half of the world's peanut production. While the United States itself provides about 10% of the worlds peanut production. In 1999, Georgia was the top U.S. producer, with 540,000 acres planted, Texas was second, with 360,000 and Alabama third, with 197,000.
75% of the peanuts produced in the United States are used domestically. With half of the edible nuts going to make peanut butter.