GO­ING NUTS FOR A GOOD HAR­VEST

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Erica Murree

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.

PHOTO: ERICA MURREE

PEANUT SEA­SON UN­DER­WAY: The first peanuts were pulled this week by Jarred Dove at Coalstoun Lakes.

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