Savannah Valley District

Hampton County Peanut Maturity

Rogan Gibson, Agronomic Crops Agent – Allendale and Hampton

As peanut harvest in the county is underway, the common question is whether the peanut crop is fully mature. Harvesting peanuts early or too late could be a few hundred pounds per acre difference, which could equal $46/ac left in the field due to loss if selling the peanuts for $460 per ton.

Hampton Peanut Harvest

Three critical factors contributing to the decision to harvest peanuts are maturity, disease, and weather. Pod scraping or blasting is used to check the crop’s maturity. When using these methods, you should collect a few plants from different areas of the field to get a good sample. Pull off 150-200 pods from the plants, removing the mesocarp by scraping or pressure washing with low psi. Separate the pods into categories based on their color: white, yellow, orange, brown, and black. For optimum maturity, for runner varieties, you are looking for 75-80% in the orange, brown, and black categories and 70% in Virginia varieties.

Weather conditions also play a significant role in making decisions on harvesting peanuts. Ideal moisture for your soil type helps the digging process, allowing pods to be lifted out of the ground with minimum loss. Excessive moisture could cause pod rot and even keep farmers out of the fields for extended periods. Diseases are also a factor that forces producers to harvest their crops prematurely. With good spray programs and healthy plants, farmers can put more weight on their crops by being patient and letting the plant finish producing the late peanuts as long as you do not see many sprouted pods.

Checking peanut maturity early often allows producers to ensure they are harvesting at the best time. Losing pods from harvesting early or too late can be detrimental due to 1 pod/row ft= 40lbs/ac loss on runner varieties  and 1 pod/row    ft= 60lbs/ac in Virginia varieties. For more information on peanut production and maturity, visit the website below:

Peanut Money-Maker Guide | College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences | Clemson University, South Carolina

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