READY TO HARVEST: Coalstoun Lakes peanut farmer Kerry Dove checks out what is under the bush.
READY TO HARVEST: Coalstoun Lakes peanut farmer Kerry Dove checks out what is under the bush. Erica Murree

Race is on to beat the rain with harvest

IT IS in farmers' DNA to look to the skies to see what the weather is going to do.

Coalstoun Lakes peanut farmer Kerry Dove has been racing the clock to get his crop of Red Spanish harvested before the predicted rain today.

Mr Dove said he had kept an eye on the clouds.

"On Tuesday I looked up and thought the clouds were starting to build up over Fraser Island," he said

There was a sigh of relief when he learnt it was hazard burning in the Mt Walsh National Park.

Catching up with the Doves on Tuesday afternoon they were on the last paddock of Red Spanish.

Mr Dove said hopefully they would finish the threshing yesterday.

"It would be beneficial if the rain falls below us," he said. "The threshing has been a slow process as we've had a few break downs including some interesting moments with rocks getting caught in machinery.

"On top of it all about 10 days ago we received 12mm on the pulled peanuts.

"This meant us going back and re-raking the wind rows so we could get an early start of the morning.

"But the rain ruined the hay."

Jared Dove has spent many hours in the tractor going up and down the rows threshing.
Jared Dove has spent many hours in the tractor going up and down the rows threshing.

After being devastated by the drought, Mr Dove said the crop was a bit under what he estimated but should go about a tonne to the hectare.

"There was a lot of show as there was plenty of bush but not the yield underneath."

"We are presently drying some in the silo in readiness to go to G Crompton & Sons at Crawford.

"Cromptons are the only processor who take Red Spanish and are keen for a delivery to start deshelling for the management of their orders.

"The red skin of the peanut is popular for Asian cuisine."

Mr Dove is hopeful the Red Spanish crop will be an appetiser for the rest of the peanuts to be harvested across the Lakes.

"Next to be harvested is the Fisher variety, a higher yielding crop.

"We do have one paddock ready but they don't need any heavy rain as it wasn't good for the peanuts when they were ripe.

"After a devastating season last year, everyone has their fingers crossed," he said.

Threshing is a dusty job.
Threshing is a dusty job.

G Crompton & Sons' peanut grower and processor Darren Crompton is also looking for a great season. He said the price for VBs is still up from last year when peanuts were in short supply.

"The whole industry is depending on a good yield this year to bounce back from the production shortfall last season," he said.


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