How A Bad Storm Can Hurt the Peanut Harvest

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Most peanut farmers are doing what they can now, even keeping an optimistic outlook that things won't get as bad as anticipated.

Peanut farmers across the Wiregrass aren't taking any chances when it comes to tropical storm Karen.

"We're going to get as much of it as we can before the rain. They are better on top of the dirt than they are in the dirt. Hoping and praying that its not going to be quite as bad as they projecting it is. Maybe we will get fortunate and it will move in another direction, " says peanut farmer Seth McClenney.

"The problem is going to be those peanuts holding on the vine with excess rainfall and there they are mature ready to come out, " says Extension Agronomist, Kris Balkcom.

The peanuts may be ready but mother nature may have other plans.

"In turn what's going to happen there is as we get that prolonged rainfall in high amounts we can't physically get back into the fields to mechanically dig those peanuts and get them up out of the ground, it wil be too wet. And then they won't be harvested, they will spit those out so we will lose that many, " says Balkcom.

"I got a lot of hope that it is not going to be as bad as they project. And if it was to come just drench or down pour, it could set us back a little bit but lets just hope and pray that doesn't happen, " says McClenny.

"A lot of the farmers are trying to dig those peanuts right now that are in bottoms and they are trying to dig those up and are just going to whether the storm with them dug on top of the ground, inverted where the peanuts won't be touching the soil, " says Balkcom.

But if it gets bad enough, farmers say, It won't be a good thing.

"It won't help us any it just depends on the rainfall. It'll really depend on how much rain we get, " says McClenney.

"They are picking just as many of them as they can to try to get them into the wagons, where they can get them to the warehouse before the storm comes, " says Balkcom.

Balkcom says the peanuts have already gotten a lot of disease pressure with the extra rainfall we've already had this year.

For the latest., you can visit the 4WARN Hurricane Center.

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