Fields are usually busy with harvest activities during the kick-off of the annual Georgia Peanut Tour, but that was not the case this year.

With only 18 percent of the state’s peanut acres planted by May 10, it’s a sure bet the bulk of the crop won’t be harvested until October, says John Beasley, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist.

“Based on what we’re seeing in our maturity profiles, 80-plus percent of our peanut crop will be harvested after Oct. 1,” said Beasley during the opening of this year’s tour in Valdosta.

“That is very unusual for us. It is typical for us to be 50-percent harvested by October, and hopefully be down to the last 10 to 15 percent as we reach late October because of the cool temperatures that slow down maturation.

 

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“We really need to get our crop harvested by the Oct. 20-25 time frame. It’ll be a late harvest for sure this year, and we’ll need some warmer morning temperatures as we get into the latter part of October and beginning of November,” he says.

As for the reasons for this late harvest, you can take your pick: delayed planting due to cool, wet weather; excessive rainfall throughout the growing season; and a high-than-normal amount of cool, cloudy days.

“We’re already into mid-September, and we’ve seen little harvest activity. In a normal year, we would be well into harvest by now. We’ve tried out some in late August and early September, so much so that some fields are being irrigated to help finish out the crop,” he says.