Is It Time To Harvest The Peanuts?
5 Nov 235 min 11 sec

A crop that many farmers have tried and failed because of its many complexities, Caleb talks about how he decides it's time to pull the peanuts.

00:00 Caleb TRO here with ITT Extreme Mag. And today I'm out checking crop maturity on some of these peanuts here behind me. Peanuts are an indeterminate crop. 00:10 This means that they aren't like corn where every kernel on the ear is mature at the same time, 00:16 peanuts are going to try to flour and set additional fruit for as long a period as possible through the growing season. 00:24 It may not be an easy decision on when to pull the trigger on harvesting these peanuts because our goal is to maximize the amount of pods 00:33 that we can haul out of this field and get paid for. So that's what we're out here today. We're checking the crop, seeing when is the best time to harvest these peanuts. 00:44 So we're digging up a few plants right here, and we're going to check the peanuts and see the maturity and how well they are progressing. So this is what they look like on top of the ground. 00:56 As you see here, of course, peanuts are grown in the dirt below ground, but then they are attached by these little stems called pegs to 01:06 the above ground branches. And of course, as you can see here at the base of the plant, what we would call a root crop, those peanuts are full size and they're likely mature. 01:18 But as we start to move into what we would call the limb crop, so these would be peanuts that were, you know, 01:26 flowers from mid-season, some of them don't look like they're going to be big enough for mature to be able to add to the yield. And you could say, well, hey, 01:36 why don't we just leave the crop in the field until every single one of those pods is mature? Sounds great. Unfortunately though, 01:45 it doesn't work that way because once those pods become fully mature, the pegs that attach that pod to the plant can turn loose. 01:56 And of course, once that happens, those pods fall off, they remain in the ground and we can't get 'em into the combine. So we don't wanna dig them too early because then we lose out on some of our 02:09 crop that's not mature enough and we don't wanna dig too late and have our primary crop begin to fall off the plant in both cases, reduce our yields. 02:19 But this variety that we have in the field here is known to be able to hold on a little bit longer than some of our other varieties. 02:26 So we can leave them out in the field a little bit longer, but we have to have good plant health to be able to do that. 02:35 If we have least spot coming in and our field is getting defoliated by disease, we have to dig them anyways, 02:42 and we can't leave them in the field to maximize yield. So that's why we're really focused on, uh, you know, good use of fungicides or whatever we can do to increase our plant health. 02:53 And that's one of the reasons why we were really interested in doing the lab here with FMC. 02:58 Looking at some of these fungicides, uh, we've got a few different ones that I'll show you right here. So these four samples that I have pulled up here are from our FMC 03:09 lab with X extreme Ag. And I thought one thing that was interesting was this is a, a grower standard program right here, 03:17 and we're starting to see a little bit of rhizoctonia limb rot here. These, these, uh, disease branches. Uh, 03:24 and we aren't seeing them in some of our treated plots. So it'd be something that we're really excited to see what the yield is, because I mean, these plants can be green, yellow, purple or red. 03:37 But what we care about is those numbers at the end of the year. And something that is important to peanut growers is not only the yield or the 03:45 number of tons that they're able to deliver, but also the grade or the quality of their crop, because the price that they receive for their crop is a combination of both 03:55 factors. Now, one of the main ways that we can increase the grade of our peanut crop is by being able to promote plant health, whether that's, you know, fungicides, 04:07 whatever tools we have our disposal so that we can prevent a late season disease from entering our fields. 04:13 And well now we have all the leaves falling off of our peanut vines. We have to harvest early just to salvage what we can. 04:20 And that's not good in terms of yield and especially not good in terms of grade to be forced to have to do that. And it's a big deal because if we are able to, 04:30 uh, promote plant health and being able to add, say, five points to our grade, that's an additional roughly $25 a ton, three tons an acre, 04:41 $75 an acre. And our yield didn't change. It was just our grade. So by looking at these trials on these new products, 04:50 we're really focused on what can we do to increase our yields, increase our profitability. So we're getting ready to harvest this field. 04:58 The peanuts jacked out, they're ready to roll. We're gonna be plowing up this crop here tomorrow. I'll be excited to share the results here that we're seeing.