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Are peanuts ready to dig?

I recently ran the first peanut maturity profiles of the year and the peanuts seem to be maturing as expected.  Below is a picture of one of the maturity profiles:

2014 Peanut Profile

 

The peanuts on this profile were planted on May 8th and were 113 days old as of this picture.  According to the profile they still had approximately 28 days left until digging which would make them 141 days old at digging.  Growers need to do a maturity profile on every field as local environmental conditions can change the rate of maturity of peanuts.  Not every field will be 141 days old at optimum maturity this year and others may need to be harvested before optimum maturity due to vine health and other factors.

Here is some good information put together by Worth county agents Larry Varnadoe and Scott Carlson on sampling procedures for peanut hull scrape:

Carefully lift at least 5 plants from a minimum of three representative areas in a field.  DIG IN THE AREA WHERE THE PLANTS WERE LIFTED AND CHECK FOR ANY PEANUTS THAT COME OFF.  If you find some older mature pods in the soil bring these with the sample.  The projected digging date is only as accurate as the sample used to represent the field.  Common sense is the key, if a field has two soil types it needs to be split and sampled as two fields.  Each sample should represent probably no more than 25 acres, so large fields may need to be split into 25 acre sections with a sample for each section. Each field should be sampled at approximately 110-120 days after planting.  A second sample should be run approximately 10days before the date predicted by the first check to determine if the peanuts are maturing normally.  This process has proven to be an effective and reliable method to project up to two weeks in advance the optimum digging date for peanuts.

In general, the most reliable profiles for projecting the optimum harvest interval are those profiles taken 2-3 weeks before harvest and before the leading pods have reached the final stages of the black maturity class.  For medium maturity runner varieties(Georgia-06G and others), this may be achieved by taking an initial profile between 110-120 days after planting. These profiles should prove best for ranking fields, and follow-ups should be used to verify that maturation is proceeding normally. Pay particular attention to the health of the pod stems on those reproductive sites having the earliest set pods, as well as days of age.  Rarely have we seen a medium maturity runner crop at risk from maturity loss in less than 125 days after planting.

If you have peanuts that you would like to run a maturity profile on, contact your local extension agent to set up a time to do so.