Sometimes, the board indicates that you have two crops of peanuts. “You can have a crop that put on early – as it should have – and a crop that put on later. More than likely, you had a weather event that caused a decrease in pod set, and then conditions improved later in the season. This can cause a farmer to get into a guessing game, wondering how much of the crop he can afford to wait on, and how much might he lose if waits for the late crop to mature,” says Faircloth.

The 2010 crop year has seen some good examples of this due to extreme heat.

“Peanuts are indeterminate. In other words, they don’t have a time at which they must fruit and can’t fruit. They can fruit and flower throughout the season as long as conditions are right. Contrast that with corn. When corn comes out of the ground and is 10 to 20 inches tall, its yield is predetermined. You can take away yield and add to the development of that yield, but its yield potential is pretty well capped at a very early stage.

“With peanuts and cotton, they can quit fruiting when the weather gets hot. Then, when the weather improves, they can go back to fruiting. They fruit continuously, and that’s what makes it so difficult and why we get split crops and uneven distributions.”

In one trial this year, two varieties – Georgia Green and AP-4 – gained 20 percent in yield over a period of eight days, says Faircloth. As they increased in maturity, they greatly improved in yield.