The timing could have been worse on Alabama peanuts. While Hurricane Sally drenched parts of Alabama with torrential rainfall, the state’s peanut crop was not as far along with regards to being ready for harvest.
That was the silver lining Alabama Extension peanut specialist Kris Balkcom tried to find when describing the devastation from Wednesday’s storm.
“We certainly had a lot of rain. The majority of the peanuts is just beginning to start to be harvested. That was the best thing for us that we weren’t in the middle of harvest and having a lot of the crop going on. That would be a bigger hindrance than right now at the beginning, obviously,” Balkcom said. “It’s certainly going to delay us a little bit getting started, just allowing enough time to dry out.
“At least we’re not a large percent that’s ready right now. We’re just kind of on the front side of really getting going. What I was looking at was going to be ready around the weekend next week. That’s going to keep us into next week before we can get in the field. It’s not going to delay us but a few days.”
One-Third Production Impacted
Balkcom estimated that one-third of Alabama’s peanut production resides in the part of the state impacted the most by the flooding; specifically, Baldwin, Escambia and Monroe counties. There was estimated that anywhere from 20 to 30 inches of rain recorded in those areas. While some peanuts had been dug, harvesting had not quite begun. This should present some delays, though.
“That’s certainly going to put them behind a week picking,” Balkcom said.
He added that the only plus right now is the cooler temperatures.
“It’s not a lot cooler but let me tell you something, it’s way better than 90 degrees. When it’s 90 degrees and it’s this wet, it would just cause them things to sprout like crazy,” Balkcom said. “But at least now we’re a little bit cooler, and we’re just going to have to get to the field as soon as we can.”