|Better Farming Series 17 - Groundnuts (FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)|
44. Groundnuts are ready for harvesting when the stems begin to wilt, and the leaves turn yellow and drop.
But if the rains stop too soon, the plants begin to wilt before the groundnuts are ripe.
To know whether the groundnuts are ready for harvesting, open a few pods.
The nuts are ripe when the inside of the shell is brown.
45. Do not harvest too late.
If you harvest too late:
- The plants are too dry, the leaves dropthis makes them less good as food for animals.
- The soil gets very hardthis makes it difficult to lift the pods, and you will leave many pods in the ground.
- The early varieties may germinate then the nuts are not good to eat.
46. Do not harvest too early.
If you harvest too early:
- There will be too much water In the groundnuts; They may rot;
It is difficult to keep them for a long time; They will yield less oil;
They are less good as a food;
They are bad as seeds, because they are not ripe.
- The pods will be full of water too;
This makes them heavy, and the shelling yield will be low.
What is the shelling yield?
To shell means to separate the nuts from the shell. If you shell 100 kilogrammes of pods, you should get between 68 and 75 kilogrammes of groundnuts. This means that the shelling yield is between 68 and 76 percent.
When the pods are full of water, they are heavy, and so 100 kilogrammes of pods will yield fewer kilogrammes of nuts.
Before harvesting you must wait until there is less water in the pods.