What will rains do to peanuts?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Farmers sample peanuts at a field in Covington County. File photo

Farmers sample peanuts at a field in Covington County.
File photo

The local peanut crops are doing well, but it’s unclear how this week’s rains will affect them.

County Extension Coordinator Chuck Simon said that he’s been talking to local farmers who expect a decent crop this year.

“You want rain, but you don’t want too much rain,” he said. “It’s also better to have the crop on top of the ground rather than still in the ground.”

Simon said that with the expected rains, a lot of local farmers were scrambling this weekend.

“We need the rain,” he said. “If you look at some of the ponds and creeks, they are down, down.”

Simon said several factors will play into how the week’s rains affect the peanuts, including when the peanuts were planted and exactly how much rain comes.

“The rain will set you back a few days,”

Alabama Extension Regional Agent Kim Wilkins, said this week that she has been pod-blasting in fields throughout her area helping farmers get ready for the harvest.

Pod-blasting is a process farmers use to check the maturity of the peanuts to determine an estimated harvest time.

Peanuts harvested at optimal maturity are sold at significantly higher prices.

Wilkins said periods of drought and stress are also easy to spot when looking at peanut shells for maturity during the pod-blasting process.

She said weather has been conducive for peanut growers so far.

“Although the weather impact varies because my area is large, overall, this growing season has been better suited to growing peanuts than last season,” she said.

Last growing season, rain fell at planting and harvesting time, but not much in between.