I began writing a post on peanuts nearly three weeks ago. As I come back to it now most of the decisions to be made on harvest are done. So I will take a few minutes to wrap some things up. As I write we are receiving a drizzling rain from Hurricane Matthew, but just yesterday peanut wagons filled up the highway. This year has been a very tough year! As many of you know we have seen severe crop damage from drought and heat throughout the summer. Dryland peanuts did not put on much of a crop, and those fields that did, had split crops making harvest decisions difficult. As we have come into tropical storm and hurricane season we have seen a lot of activity. Farmers have been faced with hard decisions on when to harvest with significant weather damage looming at times. From Hermine we saw damage to cotton; fields with tangled mats of cotton. These fields will be hard to defoliate and harvest.
Just a few things to keep in mind: peanuts that have let loose in the hull, have vines that are going down or have quality issues inside the nut, these fields are better on top of the ground than under the ground when you are expecting prolonged periods of rain. Cotton fields and defoliation: cotton lint is protected with leaves on going into tropical storms, however you may get more wind damage prior to defoliation. Soybeans are getting ready very fast this year. Look at your beans! You may not think they are ready but you need to be walking the fields and cracking open pods. There may be issues within the pods that you are not aware of. Get them out of the field as timely as you can.
Give your county agent a call if you need help with any harvest decisions. Defoliation timing and rates, peanut harvest or soybean desiccation. I hope all of you fare well through Hurricane Matthew and that our luck in Agriculture improves 🙂