Race is on to beat the rain with har­vest

Central and North Burnett Times - - THE FENCE POST - Erica Murree erica.murree@cnbtimes.com.au

IT IS in farm­ers’ DNA to look to the skies to see what the weather is go­ing to do.

Coalstoun Lakes peanut farmer Kerry Dove has been rac­ing the clock to get his crop of Red Span­ish har­vested be­fore the pre­dicted rain to­day.

Mr Dove said he had kept an eye on the clouds.

“On Tues­day I looked up and thought the clouds were start­ing to build up over Fraser Is­land,” he said

There was a sigh of re­lief when he learnt it was haz­ard burning in the Mt Walsh Na­tional Park.

Catch­ing up with the Doves on Tues­day af­ter­noon they were on the last pad­dock of Red Span­ish.

Mr Dove said hope­fully they would fin­ish the thresh­ing yes­ter­day.

“It would be ben­e­fi­cial if the rain falls be­low us,” he said. “The thresh­ing has been a slow process as we’ve had a few break downs in­clud­ing some in­ter­est­ing mo­ments with rocks get­ting caught in ma­chin­ery.

“On top of it all about 10 days ago we re­ceived 12mm on the pulled peanuts.

“This meant us go­ing back and re-rak­ing the wind rows so we could get an early start of the morn­ing.

“But the rain ru­ined the hay.”

Af­ter be­ing dev­as­tated by the drought, Mr Dove said the crop was a bit un­der what he es­ti­mated but should go about a tonne to the hectare.

“There was a lot of show as there was plenty of bush but not the yield un­der­neath.”

“We are presently dry­ing some in the silo in readi­ness to go to G Cromp­ton & Sons at Craw­ford.

“Cromp­tons are the only pro­ces­sor who take Red Span­ish and are keen for a de­liv­ery to start deshelling for the man­age­ment of their or­ders.

“The red skin of the peanut is popular for Asian cui­sine.”

Mr Dove is hope­ful the Red Span­ish crop will be an ap­pe­tiser for the rest of the peanuts to be har­vested across the Lakes.

“Next to be har­vested is the Fisher va­ri­ety, a higher yield­ing crop.

“We do have one pad­dock ready but they don’t need any heavy rain as it wasn’t good for the peanuts when they were ripe.

“Af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing sea­son last year, ev­ery­one has their fin­gers crossed,” he said.

G Cromp­ton & Sons’ peanut grower and pro­ces­sor Dar­ren Cromp­ton is also look­ing for a great sea­son. He said the price for VBs is still up from last year when peanuts were in short sup­ply.

“The whole in­dus­try is depend­ing on a good yield this year to bounce back from the pro­duc­tion short­fall last sea­son,” he said.

READY TO HAR­VEST: Coalstoun Lakes peanut farmer Kerry Dove checks out what is un­der the bush.

PHO­TOS: ERICA MURREE

Jared Dove has spent many hours in the trac­tor go­ing up and down the rows thresh­ing.

Thresh­ing is a dusty job.

Af­ter be­ing cleaned the peanuts go up the el­e­va­tor for the si­los.

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