Peanut grading begins as farmers expect biggest yield ever - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Peanut grading begins as farmers expect biggest yield ever

Peanut crop freshly dug up by farmer (Source: WALB) Peanut crop freshly dug up by farmer (Source: WALB)
Woman inspects peanuts by hand getting rid of any shells (Source: WALB) Woman inspects peanuts by hand getting rid of any shells (Source: WALB)
Jordan Turner, Peanut Inspector (Source: WALB) Jordan Turner, Peanut Inspector (Source: WALB)
TIFT CO., GA (WALB) -

Despite Tropical Storm Irma, peanut farmers are still expecting their biggest crop ever. 

Right now all of those farmers are picking peanuts and giving them to inspectors to grade, hopeful that the last minute rain increased yield.

Jordan Turner is a Tifton native who's been inspecting peanuts for six years. 

"When peanuts are harvested they're sampled and we get our sample and they go through their process and nothing's wasted," said Turner. 

At Tifton Peanut Company, Plant 2 the multi-step process entails sorting shells and peanuts, pre-sizing how large or small a peanut is and even checking moisture inside a peanut's shell. With Irma coming through this is a crucial step to see if the peanut was damaged because of rain. 

"This is a certified moisture machine. Every sample we'll have a moisture check done," said Turner.  

This helps with the grading process by figuring out the time it takes for peanuts to dry. 

After sorting through kernels and more shells the splitter splits peanuts.  

"And we'll look for concealed internal damage," said Turner. 

If there's damage it could mean the farmer's harvest isn't as valuable. 

"The grade, it helps the farmer make sure he gets what he deserves and that way he gets his money," said Turner. 

And because no peanut is wasted, the ones that do not make the grade can still be reused for other supplies. 

"Even the bad peanuts, they're used. They go to an oil mill and they'll be crushed and that's how you get your peanut oil," said Turner. 

If the peanut passes the mark, it moves on to storage facilities. 

From there peanuts go to shelling plants.

Turner said farmers are hopeful to have quality peanuts since their harvest affects their income. 

Peanut buyers said more than 4,600 pounds of peanuts could come from Tift County just this year. 

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