This bulletin is written from the viewpoint that peanut production is a business and the grower is the manager of that business. It is the role of public service agencies to provide accurate information concerning the consequences of management decisions, not to tell growers how to run their business.
In Virginia, peanuts are typically combined at moisture contents ranging from 20 to 30 percent wet basis, i.e. 20 to 30 percent of the harvested weight is moisture. Near Suffolk, Virginia, peanuts seldom dry below 20 percent in the windrow. At other locations, when weather is favorable, peanuts may dry down to 10 percent in the windrow. In damp rainy weather, peanuts may be combined at moisture contents above 30 percent; consequently, peanut dryers must be designed to handle this "worst case" condition. No matter what the moisture is at combining, peanuts must he cured to 10 percent average moisture content before they can be sold. Peanut quality is influenced, sometimes quite significantly, by curing, both "natural" curing in the windrow and "artificial" curing in a drying trailer.