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Delta city still hoping for peanut-shelling plant

GREENWOOD — Although an Oklahoma peanut processor says it has no solid plans for a shelling plant outside its home state, Greenwood’s economic development leaders believe one eventually will come to their city.

“We are confident that when the details are worked out for the peanut shelling plant and the additional jobs that will come, Greenwood-Leflore County will be the site chosen,” Bill Crump, chairman of the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation, said in a prepared statement Friday.

Crump said The Clint Williams Co. had agreed to build a buying point in Greenwood this year, and a shelling plant later. Kerry Colbert, the peanut processor’s midsouth manager, confirmed the statement, The Greenwood Commonwealth reported.

But the next day, plant manager Ollie Hall said the company does not have any solid plans for a shelling plant outside Madill, Okla. Any talk about such a plant anywhere is theoretical, he said.

The company does plan two warehouse-type buying points where peanuts will be bought, dried and stored in Greenwood and Clarksdale in time for this fall’s harvest. They will be its first Mississippi facilities.

Hall said there had been “a series of miscommunications.”

Crump said Thursday’s announcement was based on information from the company.

Construction is expected to begin in April on the Greenwood buying point. Details on incentives being provided to The Clint Williams Co. are still being worked out, Crump said.

With crop prices higher, Mississippi farmers to planning to plant an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 acres of peanuts this year, more than double last year’s total. Much of the anticipated growth is in the Delta. About 20,000 acres are contracted to The Clint Williams Co.

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