Story in Brief
Properly timing the harvest of peanuts determines whether the farmer is profitable or not. UGA Extension agents in peanut-producing counties offer peanut maturity clinics and testing to help producers time their harvesting correctly. This year, Terrell County Extension agents helped over 30 farmers and consultants test over 100 samples that represent over 6,000 acres of peanuts. That is half of the total peanut crop in Terrell County this year. Assuming the worst-case scenario that all 6,000 acres of peanuts in Terrell County were dug two weeks late, which would be a whopping 10,476,000 pounds of peanut yield lost, farmers would stand to lose $2,095,200 in revenue with peanuts valued around $400/ton. Mitchell County Cooperative Extension offers peanut maturity clinics to producers in Mitchell and Decatur counties to help determine optimum harvest dates for their crop. After assisting with over 240 harvest decisions, the Mitchell County agent helped growers comfortably make assessments on multiple locations for peanut maturity. Mitchell and Decatur counties have a combined peanut acreage of 78,058 in 2020, so accurate maturity potentially increased production by over 23 million pounds with a monetary value of nearly $5 million. Peanut maturity clinics were held in Berrien County at four separate locations and also on an 'as-needed' basis. The county agent worked with 65 farmers to check 380 samples during the 2020 growing season. By helping farmers not dig too early, the county agent helped prevent over $4 million in yield loss.