What is in this article?:
- Late, split peanut crop giving South Carolina growers harvest problems
- Two digging dates
• Peanut digging is under way in South Carolina.
• Soggy weather during the growing season has left uneven maturity in South Carolina's peanut crop.
• Growers are urged to be cautious in calculating timing for digging.
SOUTH CAROLINA Peanut Specialist Scott Monfort checks peanuts at the Edisto Research Center in Blackville, S.C.
Two digging dates
In cases where a significant portion of a field is different, maybe two digging dates will be an option if logistically possible. Digging around random lower areas in other fields where peanuts got a late start due to flooding would probably be ideal, but probably not practical. If the peanuts in these areas look really bad after inversion consider combining around them.
Remember the Orange, Brown, and Black (OBB) pod blasting percentage (70-75) is only a guide to help with the digging decision. It is very helpful in preventing digging too early and usually results in good yields and adequate grades.
That said, we have seen good yields and grades with OBB percentages somewhat lower (65 percent) as long as the sample contained a lot of brown and some black pods.
In cases where conditions have favored a late split crop considering how "dark" the portion of the OBB sample is may provide better information than the exact percentage of OBB. When samples start showing 5 percent coal black pods, the risk of losing some of the heaviest and most valuable peanuts increases.
In terms of value, the black and brown pods are similar to first position bolls of cotton and the whites and yellows are similar to a late top crop. All contribute to yield, but just as it takes more bolls up top to equal one of the lower bolls, it takes more immature peanuts to equal the weight of a mature pod.
The difference between cotton and peanuts is that we often keep some of the lower boll lint while waiting on the top. Over-mature peanuts with weakened pegs never make it to the basket.
This late split crop may result in slightly lower grades (due to more immature pods), but yield always trumps grade when considering total crop value.