GOING NUTS FOR A GOOD HARVEST
AFTER going through the last financial year without an income, Coalstoun Lakes farmer Kerry Dove is hoping his fortunes have turned around.
Earlier this week, with son Jarred, they started pulling the first of their peanut crop, 44 hectares of Red Spanish.
Mr Dove said last season his harvest was only 24 tonne, so hopefully there was a nought on the end of that plus a bit more this season.
“The reason I planted the older variety of Red Spanish is it breaks up your harvest,” he said. “It is a faster maturing crop so you can start harvesting three weeks earlier.
“Red Spanish do well in the block where they are planted as it is a heavier soil, but you do pay a premium as it’s not a high-yielding variety.
“But on the other side, we are paid a bit of a premium as they are marketed into the raw trade.
“The red skin of the peanut is an ideal ingredient for cooking, especially Asian cuisine.”
Mr Dove said at this stage he estimated the crop would yield 1.5 tonne to the hectare but hopefully a bit more.
“The crop has had a dry finish so would have liked a bit more rain,” he said.
“We planted the crop late as the drought didn’t break until mid-December.
“It was a tough season as the heliothis grub attacked with ferocity.
“I have been in the business since 1976 and never had to spray a crop once, let alone twice.
“The grub takes a toll on the yield and goes for the tenderest bits like the flowers, peg nodes and leaves.
“The crop then needs rain to grow new nodes to add to the yield.
“This is not only a financial burden but time-consuming and puts pressure on our management.”
After drying out in their wind rows for four to five days, thrashing will start any day
Mr Dove said that hopefully the nuts would be dry enough to go straight to Cromptons at Kingaroy.
“If not, they will go into silos and dried to the required moisture of 11-12%, then off to Cromptons to be de-shelled,” he said.
With a further 230ha of peanuts of other varieties, including Fisher, and 135ha of corn, Kerry and son Jarred are going to be busy in the coming months.
PEANUT SEASON UNDERWAY: The first peanuts were pulled this week by Jarred Dove at Coalstoun Lakes.