LUBBOCK, Texas — The peanuts in future PayDay bars and the ones that will soon sit on the shelves at the grocery stores were getting pulled out of West Texas farms on Tuesday for their annual harvest.
Peanut harvests typically last through October for most farmers and during that time, they work long days to pull up all of the mature peanuts and get ready to send them into their next life, whether that be for a candy bar or for next year’s seed.
“It’s really just the beginning of this peanut’s life,” peanut farmer Kirk Martin said.
Martin will get to see his hard work pay off at the end of the harvest when he sees how much he was able to grow over the summer months.
“I get one paycheck a year, so this is the grand finale. This is what we live for is to make a crop and see all the hard work we put into it all year long – the perseverance of fighting a drought,” Martin said.
It wasn’t an easy summer for farmers, with hot and dry weather that stuck around long enough to make crops suffer. Martin said his peanuts didn’t suffer nearly as much as his cotton crop, but he still wasn’t able to grow as many peanuts as he could’ve if there was more rainfall.
“Our yield has definitely decreased because of the lack of rainfall this year,” Martin said.
Martin hopes that he’ll have 4,000 pounds of peanuts per acre at the end of the harvest. He said in a really good year, they could grow 6,000 pounds per acre. That difference could make him $700 more per acre.
However, either way, Martin is happy to have something to show for his hard work.
“I’m gonna hang my hat on that and then rest easy, knowing that I tried as hard as I could,” Martin said. “Being out here, getting to smell the dirt and smell the peanuts being harvested … it’s always exciting even if your yields aren’t there.”
Like most farmers, Martin said he’s hoping for an even better year next year.