|Butts, Christopher - Chris|
Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Peanut production is increasing rapidly in west Texas because of their comparative advantages relative to peanut quality and profit potentials. Local farmers' stock (FS) peanut storage facilities are limited requiring immediate transportation which increases handling cost. Warehouse construction would be a solution, but many shellers consider the environment to be not good FS peanut storage. The USDA-ARS National Peanu Research Laboratory conducted research during two storage seasons to determine if hte environment in an aerated FS peanut warehouse in west Texas was adequate for storing peanuts. Temperatures within the peanut mass were found to be within ranges considered satisfactory for good peanut storage. However, relative humidities were low and questionable for satisfactory storage without appropriate storage management practices. Although aeration could assist in peanut moisture management, aeration potential was found to be extremely variable between storage seasons and very limited during certain periods within a storage season. Required strategies for managing west Texas storage include selecting peanuts with moisture contents as close to 10% as possible for warehouse loading, monitoring environmental conditions during storage, and most important, basing length of storage on loading moisture content and environmental history during storage.
Technical Abstract: Temperature and relative humidity (RH) in an aerated warehouse in west Texas was monitored during storage of 1994 and 1995 crop farmer stock (FS) peanuts. Temperature and RH were measured hourly at various positions throughout a vertical cross section of the peanut mass, in the overspace and outside the warehouse. Peanut mass temperatures averaged 9.6 C during storage of the 1994 crop and 10.3 C for the 1995 crop. RH for the 1994 crop storage averaged 68.3% and 57.9% for the 1995 crop storage. FS grades were collected at warehouse loading and unloading for 10-12 t lots of peanuts stored in the warehouse (Wpnuts) and for samples (Spnuts) positioned at temperature and RH sensor locations. Wpnuts, in approaching equilibrium moisture with ambient RH, lost 2% moisture content both storage years. Spnuts lost 1.4% moisture content during storage of both crops. Percentage sound mature kernels (SMK) from Wpnuts decreased by y3.3% during 1994 crop storage and 6.6% during 1995 crop storage. Percentag SMK from Spnuts decreased 2.2% and 6.2% for the 2 storage years. Percentage sound splits (SS) for the Wpnuts increased 2.2% during 1994 crop storage and 4.2% during the 1995 crop storage. Percentage SS for Spnuts increased 2.4% and 6.1%. Changes in other grade factors were not consistent comparing percentage values for Wpnuts and Spnuts. Data indicates that maintaining grade and quality during FS peanut storage in west Texas will require close knowledge of moisture content of peanuts placed into the warehouse and environmental monitoring in order to determine storage length. For 3-5 mo storage, it is recommended that FS peanuts have a moisture content close to 10% when placed into storage for peanuts to be above 7% when unloaded from the warehouse.