Timing could have been worse for Georgia peanuts following what was left of Hurricane Sally as it moved through the state last week. Instead of a hurricane barreling through Georgia in October when peanuts were farther along, like Hurricane Michael in 2018, Sally’s impact should only delay digging some this week, says Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist.
“It does make getting the peanuts out of the ground right now that need to come out, it’s prolonged that a little bit,” Monfort said. “We’re going to lose a little bit, but I tell you, we needed the rain. There were some dry pockets around. At least it wasn’t any later. If a hurricane was going to come through, it was probably the better time to do it, right at the beginning of harvest and not right in the middle of the peak.”
Peanut producers only have to look to two years ago when Hurricane Michael moved through the state. According to UGA CAES Newswire, the loss to Georgia’s peanut crop estimated to be between $10 and $20 million. The storm also dealt a devastating blow to local buying points and peanut shellers.
Fortunately, nothing that significant happened this year. In fact, the biggest weather impact right now appears to be the cooler weather that Georgia farmers are experiencing.
“I think this cool weather right this minute is hurting us right this second because it’s not pushing (the peanuts). We don’t’ have the heat to push them right now,” Monfort said. “We’re going to slow down just a little bit. I think we’re going to continue to progress but it’s going to back them up just a little bit. We’ve just got to figure out how much that is going to happen.”
Monfort estimates that Sally is going to delay digging by 4 to 5 days and maybe a week in some places.
“It’s going to back up digging a little bit until the soil depletes some of that out a little bit,” Monfort said.