Preliminary Comments on Flooding From Florence Peanut Notes No. 127 2018

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Preliminary Comments on Flooding after Hurricane Florence

Past experience has shown that peanut can stand 3 days of submersion and remain alive. There are criteria for harvesting depending on the source of flood waters. Ponding versus movement into fields from other sources must be considered when harvesting and selling peanut. We will post more information in the coming days on this distinction. Most places that are flooded are several weeks away from being able to be dug and invert peanut vines.

Most fields are not at optimum maturity right now. It will be the week of September 24 and into October before peanut in many fields in North Carolina reach optimum pod maturity. Certainly some fields will take a significant amount of time to dry, but for many fields in the northeastern part of North Carolina peanuts remain in relatively good shape. Rainfall amounts in the central and southern coastal plain of North Carolina make peanut extremely vulnerable because of the amount of water delivered from the storm. Also, farmers and those who support them are dealing with many issues, and peanut will need to fall into the appropriate place on the list of important things to take care of. As we all know, dry weather for the next month is what we really need. Following Hurricane Matthew we had near perfect field conditions for harvesting peanut. Peanuts were generally more vulnerable during Hurricane Matthew than Hurricane Florence because peanuts were at optimum maturity when the Matthew hit North Carolina (early October.)  Of course, Matthew moved more quickly and delivered less rain in many sensitive areas than what we have experienced with Florence. I am well aware that the flooding in many fields will be catastrophic for farmers in North Carolina, but if we can avoid other storms and major rainfall events over the course of the next month, as a whole peanuts in North Carolina still have fair to good potential.