By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Recent sightings of peanut trailers coming in from the fields to be off-loaded at the local peanut mills means it’s harvest time again.
Jimmie Shearer of Sunland, Inc. said the majority of the peanuts being harvested at this time are from the Texas area, although a few are starting to come in from the local area. Sunland is receiving approximately 50 truckloads a day, said Shearer.
“Peanuts are coming in fast and furious,” he said. “The weather is perfect for the peanut harvest.”
With rain in the forecast for Sunday and Monday, local farmer Jim Chandler hopes to have his 180 acres of peanuts harvested soon.
“The rain turns the peanuts black and cuts two cents off the price,” said Chandler. “They don’t look very pretty, but they can still be used.”
He said his peanuts have been dug and have been laying on the ground for a week. Due to the hot weather and low humidity, the peanuts have dried faster than than normal, Chandler said.
“It’s not as good as last year, but it’s not bad,” said Chandler on the quality of his crop.
Due to no rain during the growing season, followed by heavy rain in August, some of the peanuts are having to be dug before the vines weaken, said Shearer.
“The crop is off, but the quality is extremely good,” said Shearer.
Once farmers begin digging the peanuts, they will have to dry above ground for a week to 10 days, said Shearer. The peanuts are much harder to thresh if they have a high moisture content, said Shearer.
Before the peanuts can be purchased by Sunland, their moisture content has to be at 10.49 percent, said Shearer. The peanuts can either be left to dry above ground in the field or brought into the Sunland plant to be mechanically dried, Shearer said.