N.C. Cooperative Extension hosts pod blasting workshop for farmers

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 7:20 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - One of the most important factors for peanut farmers took place Monday, pod blasting and checking the maturity of their peanuts.

“I can’t pull them out of the ground and tell you when to pick them. I don’t have enough experience for that, but they put them on the chart they pretty much paint a picture for you and 10, 15, 21 days and from my past experience what they tell you is pretty spot on,” said Kevin Gardner with Gardner Farms.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension will be hosting multiple workshops to help farmers determine when they should dig their peanuts.

“Often times they realize it’s about a 375-pound benefit from having that done. So, farmers have recognized this is probably the most important decision they can make throughout the growing season,” said N.C. Extension Agent, Mitch Smith. That benefit he refers to is the extra amount of peanuts they’ll be able to harvest because of the pod blasting.

Farmers will need to bring about 150′s pods to the workshop. The outer shell will then be removed to reveal the color of the inner shell, they are then placed on a chart.

“We have arcs on the board that were scientifically developed, and it gives us a very good scientific idea of when those peanuts are ready to be dug. We call this the Ouija board of peanut production because it really predicts exactly when those peanuts are ready to be dug,” said Smith.

This is just the first round of pod blasting with another one taking place in about 11 days in case some of the peanut samples were not ready to be dug they can come back and have them re-blasted.

North Carolina ranks number 6th in peanut production across the nation and the pod blasting process has resulted in a potential profit of 2.5 million dollars annually.