Qual­ity over quan­tity

Dry sea­son a chal­lenge for peanut crop yield

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Erica Mur­ree

THIS year’s peanut crop at Coal­stoun Lakes has the qual­ity but not the yield of the pre­vi­ous bumper sea­son.

Dar­ren Rack­e­mann of Rack­e­mann Re­sources said ini­tially farm­ers had eight to nine weeks of dry weather be­fore 20 inches at the end of Jan­uary, and then a fur­ther 10-11 in Fe­bru­ary.

“The crop won’t be like last year, which was ex­cep­tional with qual­ity, quan­tity and price,” he said.

“While the yield won’t be there, the crop still looks like go­ing 1.3 to 1.5 tonnes an acre.

“Grow­ers can ex­pect up to $900 per tonne.”

As well as be­ing down in yield, the acreage planted is also down, due the dry con­di­tions at plant­ing time.

Mr Rack­e­mann said it had been one of the most chal­leng­ing years with dry, then very wet and then dry.

“It would be great to have some nor­mal­ity,” he said.

“Last year was ex­cep­tional, even though we grew our crop on a frac­tion of the rain. But the im­por­tant thing was it rained when needed.

“Even the corn went 3.5 tonne to the acre, but this won’t be re­peated this year, es­pe­cially if there is a dry fin­ish,” he said

There were wet spots in places in the peanut crop, which wasn’t a prob­lem, but the prob­lem came with the wash from the heavy rain caus­ing dig­ging prob­lems get­ting the crop out.

“We could be worse off. At least we have a har­vest,” he said.

The wet also brought other prob­lems, with ar­eas of mould, but this was patchy.

The Rack­e­manns are chomp­ing at the bit to see what new Peanut Com­pany of Aus­tralia va­ri­ety Fisher pro­duces.

“It is a new va­ri­ety to us and may be worth $1350 per tonne for nut in shell.

“It is look­ing ex­cep­tion­ally good so long as the weather con­di­tions are in our favour,” he said.

Grow­ers are look­ing for dry weather for the next month, but on the other hand would like some rain to fin­ish the corn off.

“We re­ally are hard to please,” Mr Rack­e­mann said.

Photo: Brett Han­wright

NEW SEA­SON: A thresher har­vest­ing peanuts at Coal­stoun Lakes.

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