LISTEN: Georgia’s peanut harvest is later than usual. Farmers say it’s all due to the weather over the past several months. Sarah Kallis reports.

A peanut crop in a field

Georgia's peanut harvest is late this year. Farmers say "unusual" weather is to blame.

Credit: File photo

Joe Biddeford has been farming peanuts in Georgia for half of a century. This year, he is faced with "as unusual of a crop" as he's ever seen.

The peanut harvest on Boddiford’s farm is normally wrapping up by now. He's the owner of Sylvania Peanut Company, and he said a cool, wet spring on his East Georgia farm was followed by a hot, dry July. 

"Now the ground temperature was too cold" in spring, he said. "But after that, it was too cold and too wet. And you know the difference between having a wet shirt on and a dry shirt on in cooler weather, you understand how it would affect the seed just like it affects you." 

The unusual weather caused Boddiford's peanut crop to be about three weeks behind schedule. Those three weeks make a difference. 

Frost during harvest can damage a crop. And the end of daylight saving time this weekend means shorter harvest days. 

"If you dig your peanuts and get a frost that night or the next night, maybe the third night, it can cause freeze damage on the peanuts, which makes them turn rancid," Boddiford said. 

Only about 40% of Georgia's peanut crop has been harvested. Boddiford said he expects about 20 acres' worth of his 650 acres of peanuts will stay in the ground. But he said the peanuts he has harvested have been of high quality. 

In his decades as a farmer, Boddiford says that he has learned how to be resilient in odd-weather years.

"You got to have patience," he said. "You know, if you want to work on a calendar, you're making a mistake."