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Harvesting Peanuts: 6 Things You Need to Know

Harvesting Peanuts: 6 Things You Need to Know

Peanuts are a commonly-planted crop among agricultural producers, but like other hot-weather crops, they require specific machinery and preparations to ensure a successful harvest. Having the right machinery on hand, such as peanut harvesters, can be beneficial at the end of the season, but you’ll also need a few basic facts about how peanuts are grown, harvested, and stored. Let’s take a look at 6 things every farmer should know before harvesting and storing a crop of peanuts:

1. When are Peanuts Harvested?

Generally speaking, peanuts take between six and eight weeks to fully mature. Because they are typically planted at the end of the spring, they are often ready for harvest by late summer or early fall. Once peanuts have a dark brown or black hull, they are ready to be harvested.

2. How are Peanuts Harvested?

Peanuts can be easily harvested by carefully digging up the plant and shaking off the excess soil. A digger can be used to sever the roots of the plants and pull them away from the ground. Afterward, peanuts are typically placed in a windrow with their leaves facing downward. Agricultural producers typically give them at least three days to fully dry and cure.

3. How are Peanuts Shelled?

While it is not uncommon to withhold some peanuts for next year’s seed, most of the crop is sent to a sheller before being sold to market. The sheller specializes in cleaning the peanuts before using a machine to remove their shells. The machinery pushes the peanuts through perforated grates to separate the kernels from the shells.

4. Types of Peanuts and Their Harvest Timelines

Peanuts are either bunch-type or runner-type, and this dictates their harvest timeline. Runner-type peanuts grow via vines and require more space to thrive. They typically take between 130 and 150 days to fully mature.

Bunch-type peanuts grow their nuts at the end of their branches. Because they do not have as high a yield as runner-type peanuts, they are not typically grown by agricultural producers. However, those who do plant bunch-type peanuts usually need at least 120 days for this crop to reach maturity.

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