Location: Peanut Research
2005 Annual Report
Peanut market type, cultivar, and environmental conditions during the growing season affect all aspects of peanut quality. There are over twenty peanut cultivars available for production depending on peanut market type the spectrum of disease resistance required. Some cultivars are more determinant than others, changing the distribution of peanut maturity on each plant. Some varieties tolerate various stresses, such as water and disease, better than others. When delivered to a processor, peanuts must be segregated based on quality standards as well as physical properties. Peanuts of the same market type, but different cultivars may be commingled and processed together if their physical properties and shelling characteristics are similar. However, if the physical properties of a cultivar are different from the norm for a particular market type, then it must be segregated and processed separately.
Since 1997, peanut production has moved out of the traditional production areas in some states, the peanut marketing program has changed, and high capacity harvesting equipment has been implemented across the US. However, curing and storage systems have remained relatively unchanged. The majority of peanuts grown are cured in batches ranging from 4-20 t. High capacity drying systems are needed that will match the harvest capacity of farmers yet be economically viable due to the short duration of the harvest each year. Changes in peanut quality occur during all processing, including curing, storage, shelling, blanching and roasting. These changes can adversely affect peanut flavor, shelf life, seed viability, and consumer acceptance. Degradation of crop quality during storage due to improper moisture control, insect damage, and mechanical damage represents an annual monetary loss of $6 million. Sensors and meters to measure moisture content easily while drying and shelling are needed to optimize these processes. Systems for drying and storing peanuts are needed that will minimize excessive moisture loss, improve moisture uniformity and have low initial capital cost are needed.
This project falls within Component 1 “Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement” of National Program 306, Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products. This project focuses equally on Components1b, Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and 1d, Preservation and/or Enhancement of Quality and Marketability. It also has a strong emphasis on 1c, Factors and Processes that Affect Quality. The project objectives are:
1. Develop a portable sensor and measurement systems to measure moisture in-shell and shelled peanuts during various post harvest processes.
2. Develop and maintain a database of peanut quality parameters and processing characteristics for commercial peanut varieties.
3. Develop peanut curing, transportation, and storage systems and management processes that maintain quality and minimize unit costs and quality deterioration during post harvest processing.
4. Expand the peanut curing decision support system to include new drying equipment and to support management of inventory from the field into the warehouse.
Year 2 (FY 2006) 1. Modify impedance measurement system and sensor. 2. Update peanut properties database. Analyze data. Collect current crop year data. 3. Analyze curing data. Continue IR curing research. 4. Analyze CA storage data. Continue CA peanut storage research. 5. Calibrate peanut curing decision support system with commercial drying data.
Year 3 (FY 2007) 1. Analyze moisture calibration data. Refine probe and measurement system. Collect data for all market types. 2. Update peanut properties database. Analyze data. Collect data. Develop mining methods. 3. Analyze curing data. Continue IR curing research. 4. Analyze CA storage data. Continue scale model CA storage. Initiate commercial CA storage. 5. Revise decision support system, release to beta testers.
Year 4 (FY 2008) 1. Analyze moisture data. Refine probe. Conduct commercial field studies. 2. Update peanut database. Analyze data. Collect data. 3. Analyze curing data. Conduct prototype/full-scale IR curing research. 4. Analyze CA storage data. Continue scale model and commercial CA storage research. 5. Analyze beta peanut curing decision support system, modify underlying models as necessary.
Year 5 (FY 2009) 1. Final analysis and transfer moisture measurement technology to industry. 2. Continue mining/analysis of peanut properties database. Make database available on line. 3. Final analysis of feasibility of IR peanut curing and transfer to industry. 4. Analyze CA storage data. Transfer technology to industry via publication of guidelines for design and operation. 5. Revise and release peanut curing decision support software.
4c: No activities to report.
Butts, C.L., Chastain, J., Dorner, J.W., Sanders, T.H., Rowland, D. 2005. Storing farmers stock peanuts in monolithic domes. ASAE Annual International Meeting. ASABE Paper number 05-6182. ASABE, St. Joseph, MI. p. 13.