Watch out for those harvesters … it’s peanut season! The peanut crop got a late start this year, but the weather has been perfect for harvesting.
Farmers with Candler Peanut, a Georgia Grown business, are busy at work harvesting this year’s peanut crop. They are exceptionally busy as the acreage is up this year due to low cotton prices the previous years.
Adverse weather conditions in the beginning of the year--cold weather in the spring, wet planting conditions and a summer drought--have brought on an unusual harvesting situation this year.
“Peanuts for customers across Southeast Georgia are reaching maturity at the same time, so instead of processing peanuts over a course of three months, they’re all coming in at once,” said Tyler Thompson of Candler Peanut.
Though each year presents its own unique challenges, this year’s harvested peanuts thus far have all graded very well, keeping the quality consistent. This comes on the heels of last year’s excessive rainfall during harvest and crop disease, which reduced the quality greatly.
The harvest for this year isn’t over yet. There is a long way to go, but things are looking brighter than last year. It’s a little too early to tell what the yields will look like this year, but the farmers at Candler Peanut are expecting good crops in most of Candler County.
Candler Peanut was purchased in 2015 from the Warrens, changing the name from Warren Peanut to Candler Peanut. The business is now owned by four farmers, Bo Patterson of Candler County and Ricky Nevil, Will Anderson and Greg Sikes, all of Bulloch County.
Candler Peanut owns and operates three buying points, one in Candler County and two in Bulloch County, as well as a seed sheller that was installed in 2019. They shelled and treated their own peanut seed to sell to customers as well as farmers through the state for the 2020 crop year.
Peanuts used for seeds are all grown in Candler and Bulloch Counties, and Candler Peanut strives to offer a quality product to help farmers get their crop started. A large portion of the peanuts that will be used for seed in 2021 have already been harvested.
Most of Candler Peanut’s product is used for making peanut butter or used in the candy industry domestically as well as exported internationally, and they are also a chemical dealer for Triangle Chemical and sell chemicals used in row crop and produce production.
Every part and byproduct of the peanut harvest each year is used in one way or another. The peanut kernels are used for food production while the hulls from the sheller are used as shavings in chicken houses or blended for cow feed. Split or damaged peanuts are crushed for oil, and the peanut vines are either fed to livestock or left in the field to improve the soil for future crops.