Farming Peanuts in South Africa

How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa

Peanuts are native to South Africa and well adapted to our climate, especially the warmer parts of South Africa. We stock a great selection of Peanut Seeds at Glen Seeds. Groundnuts are regarded as nuts in a culinary sense, however in a botanical sense it is far removed from nuts and are classified as legumes. After all peanuts don’t grow on trees – How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa

  • Growth Habit
  • Soil Preparation
  • Feeding

Peanuts does not require good soil and normally does fine in any spot, however make sure your soil for peanuts are loose and well drained, clay soils that gets waterlogged is not ideal for peanuts.

Now here is something truly remarkable about ground nuts you probably did not know:

Farming Peanuts in South Africa - How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa

The plants of peanuts produce small yellow self-pollinating flowers. These flowers appear on stems just above the soil and after pollination they bend and push into the soil 3 to 7 cm’s deep. The tips then develop underground seedpods that contain the peanuts. These seedpods are also known as pegs or peduncles.

Apart from previous being interesting, why is it worth mentioning? When you know previous, one of the most important aspects of growing peanuts will be well understood: Make sure the soil in which you plant your peanut seeds is very loose. Ensuring a fair amount of compost won’t just aide in nutritional requirements but also helps to keep the soil loosened for the flower stems to easily penetrate the soil in order to form the required pods.

We recommend slightly hilling up with additional loose soil around the plants after the flowers started to form or when they are busy withering, just make sure you do not cover the flowers. This will also aide in the formation of seedpods, by providing fresh loose soil for pegs to set.

As with other legumes, do not add any nitrogen, present in most fertilisers, to the plants. Legumes improve your soil by producing its own nitrogen, which will stay in the soil after you lifted the plants.

Ground nuts are long season crops that don’t ask for much apart from full sun, water and some love. Your patience will be rewarded.

Pest control

Peanuts have virtually no pests to worry about. We did mention they don’t ask for much, right?

Planting times for peanuts in South Africa

Plant peanuts direct in middle to late spring when average temperatures start to become nice and hot. Average temperatures should be at least 18 degrees Celsius.  If you really can’t wait you can start planting peanuts indoors in a warm spot earlier and then transplant when the conditions outside becomes suitable. We do however not advocate this method since we are of the opinion that, on balance it is better to plant direct at the right time.

Germination can take anything from 7 to 21 days. Keep soil moist during this time, but not soggy, peanut seeds easily rot in soggy soil.

Please note:  Planting times supplied is in a general South African sense and is based on typical South African Highveld conditions. Your particular area of South Africa might vary, for instance if you live in Tzaneen you have summer all year long and can grow summer crops January to December!

Sun exposure:

Full sun

Peanut Plant Spacing

Standard Small types 10 to 15 centimeters apart

Large Types 15 cm apart

Days to harvest

In optimum climate and conditions harvesting will typically be between 120 and 150 days, however it might take a bit longer in certain areas of the country.


When your peanut plant leaves start to turn yellow you know it’s time to harvest!

Loosen the plants with a fork as deep as you can and pull the entire plants with seedpods. Remove excess soil. Tie the plants in bunches and hang to dry out of sunlight but preferably still in a warm spot for at least two weeks. When the husks are entirely dry you can remove the tasty peanuts.

Eat them raw or roast them which are tastier to some palates and also safer.

Click to view which Peanut Seeds are available to you 

The terms groundnuts and peanuts can be utilized reciprocally, yet in South Africa the business essentially alludes to groundnuts, while peanuts are utilized in North and South America.

Groundnuts (peanuts) structure part of the oilseed family, and as demonstrated by its name, produce pods or nuts, underneath the ground.

The developed species started around southern Bolivia and north-western Argentina along the eastern inclines of the Andes mountains, with proof of it being utilized for human utilization since the Inca times. From here it spread with wanderers to different pieces of North America and was later taken to different pieces of the world by Portuguese sailors.

Groundnuts (peanuts), today, are delivered over the world, basically in sandy soils in tropical and warm calm areas.

Worldwide Production of Peanuts

The region under groundnut (nut) creation has remained moderately stable in the course of the last 45 years, expanding from just under 20 million in the mid 1970s to a little more than 25 million hectares in 2018, as indicated by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP).

Nut creation throughout this time, has expanded generously on account of the improvement of new cultivars, bringing about normal yields expanding from around 1,1 tons for every hectare to 1,8 tons for each hectare and the global normal creation volume expanding from a little more than 15 million tons to between 40 million and 45 million tons for each year.

China is the main maker, representing more than 15 million tons of the world’s creation every year, trailed by India, whose creation changes between 4 million and 7 million tons for each year.

For as long as 45 years, the United States has been the general chief regarding yields per hectare, with yields expanding from 2,5 tons for every hectare to 4,5 tons for each hectare in the course of recent years on account of their utilization of the Runner cultivar.

India and the United States are the greatest exporters, with China, Argentina and the Netherlands likewise sending out enormous volumes.

Peanut Production History in South Africa

Groundnuts (peanuts) came into South Africa with Portuguese sailors, alongside maize and cassava. Creation was first recorded in KwaZulu-Natal in 1843, as per an Afrikaans distribution of the old Oilseed Regulatory Board, called (Historiese Oorsig van pass on Oliesadebedryf in Suid-Afrika).

Creation took off before long, in Transvaal, with the primary exchanging records being made in 1905 in Northern Transvaal.

Nearby Production of Peanuts

South African creation of peanuts has varied incredibly in the course of recent years, yet by and large declined with the presentation of new cultivars not creation up for the misfortune underway zone. Irregular dry spells in significant creation zones over the five years paving the way to 2020, further exacerbated the circumstance.

Adri Botha, executive of the SA Groundnut Forum, says a ton is being done to advance creation once more, as groundnuts (peanuts) give great returns and make for an incredible rotational yield, particularly in maize revolutions, because of its capacity to fix nitrogen.

The advancement of new innovation has likewise fundamentally diminished creation related dangers, by permitting ranchers to flexibly the nuts in mass at a prior stage, though the nuts must be left on the land for as long as about fourteen days to dry and afterward must be conveyed in sacks previously.

The advancement of improved mechanical gatherers is additionally fundamentally driving down work costs. Other than this, different endeavors are made to invigorate the neighborhood business and shield it from modest imports.

Farming Peanuts in South Africa - How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa

Peanut Production Area

Groundnuts (or Peanuts) are filled in the mid year precipitation regions of South Africa, essentially in the Northern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and North West.

The greater part of the plantings in the Free State and North West are on dryland, while those in the Northern Cape and Limpopo are under water system. Creation in the Free State has declined altogether because of ranchers rather planting soybean, since it is less work escalated and presents lower atmosphere related dangers.

Nut Varieties

Groundnuts (peanuts) are developed from the Spanish kind of assortments in South Africa. Cultivar assessment and creation preliminaries previously began in different areas after the Anglo Boer war that finished in 1902, prompting Virginia Bunch (Valencia) turning into the most planted assortment at that point. The assortment, notwithstanding, didn’t flourish under South African climatic conditions.

JFP Schellschop from the Agricultural Research Center (ARC) is viewed as one of the pioneers in the business. In 1942, he built up an improved cultivar, called the Natal Common, out of the Spanish assortment filled in Natal. The assortment, after some time, increased eminent accomplishment over the world.

Different assortments that created out of Schellschop’s program included Seleksie 5, Ghimbaura, Nelspan and G280. The ARC created different other important assortments from that point, with ARC Akwa Plus and ARC Sallie Plus being the best entertainers right now.

In 2019, they had six cultivars in the pipeline that vowed to support yields and improve infection opposition. The private area has additionally been assessing some imported assortments, however this is getting more earnestly since nations consider this to be property as a preferred position over their rivals.

Ranchers typically plant an assortment of nut cultivars to decrease sickness, bother and climatic dangers.

Collecting or harvesting Peanuts

The quantity of days to development changes among cultivars and as indicated by climatic conditions. By and large, in any case, it takes around ninety days for the nut (groundnut) cases to develop.

Cases are commonly picked when the dividers show a dim earthy colored tone and when the seed is white, changing to pink. The groundnuts (peanuts) are lifted by a digger shaker windrower out of the ground.

Worldwide and Local Sales of Peanuts

South Africa needs to import groundnuts (peanuts) to compensate for nearby creation shortages. Imports change contingent upon nearby creation volumes, arriving at a pinnacle of 55 000 tons in 2016 and more than 30 000 tons in 2017.

Generally 80% of the groundnuts (peanuts) in South Africa is utilized for utilization, though the rest is squashed. In the remainder of the world, the pattern is for about 40% to be squashed and the rest to be utilized in the food market.

The immediate eatable market has been declining somewhat in South Africa in the course of recent years, though the groundnut/nutty spread market has expanded, presently representing around 30 000 tons each every year. Feed squander utilization has remained moderately consistent until 2007, after which it expanded from 2,5 million tons to 5 million tons in 2018.

How to Make Your Peanut Farming a Reality

Employments of Peanuts

The seeds yield consumable oil that can be utilized in cooking, margarines, servings of mixed greens, canning for profound singing and for shortening in cake and bread. The seeds might be eaten crude, entire cooked and salted or hacked in dessert shops or ground into nutty spread. Youthful units and leaves can likewise be burned-through as a vegetable.

Groundnuts (peanuts), as indicated by the Agricultural Research Center, likewise have different modern uses, going from drug applications to the advancement of cleansers, moisturizers and creams. The bodies can likewise be utilized as filler for manure and as fuel.

Other than this, oilcake can be utilized as a high protein creature feed, while the plants, leaves, frames and shells likewise can be utilized as domesticated animals feed.

How Peanuts Grow

How to Make Your Peanut Farming a Reality

In contrast to most plants, the nut plant blossoms over the ground, yet natural products subterranean.

From planting to collecting, the developing pattern of a nut takes 4 to 5 months, contingent upon the sort and assortment.

Supportability of assets, networks and family are main concerns for USA nut ranchers.

Find out about how peanuts develop and go from the homestead to your storeroom in our Journey of a Peanut Butter Jar arrangement.

Numerous individuals are shocked to discover that peanuts develop underneath the dirt and don’t develop on trees like walnuts or pecans. Beneath you’ll find how peanuts develop, from setting up the dirt for planting to the nut gathering measure.

To begin with, Farmers Plant the Seeds.

Over the USA Peanut Belt, peanuts are planted after the last ice in April through May, when soil temperatures arrive at 65°—70°F. Ranchers plant exceptionally developed nut parts from the earlier year’s harvest around two inches down, roughly one to two inches separated in lines. Pre-planting culturing guarantees a rich, decidedly ready seedbed. For a decent yield, 140 to 150 ice free days are required.

Seedlings Crack the Soil

Nut seedlings emerge from the dirt around 10 days in the wake of planting. They develop into a green oval-leafed plant around 18 inches tall. In contrast to most plants, the nut plant blossoms over the ground, however organic products subterranean.

Blossoms Appear

Yellow blossoms arise around the lower part of the plant around 40 days in the wake of planting. At the point when the blossoms fertilize themselves, the petals tumble off as the nut ovary structures.

Pegging is a Unique Feature

This maturing ovary is known as a “stake.” The stake augments and becomes down and away from the plant framing a little stem which reaches out to the dirt. The nut incipient organism is in the tip of the stake, which enters the dirt. The undeveloped organism goes level to the dirt surface and starts to develop appearing as a nut. The plant keeps on developing and blossom, at last creating around at least 40 cases. From planting to gathering, the developing pattern of a nut takes four to five months, contingent upon the sort and assortment.

Farmers Harvest Peanuts 140 to 150 Days After Planting.

At the point when the plant has developed and the peanuts are prepared for gather, the rancher holds up until the dirt isn’t excessively wet or excessively dry prior to burrowing. At the point when conditions are correct, the person drives a digger here and there the green lines of nut plants. The digger pulls up the plant, delicately shakes off any waiting soil, turns the plant and lays it down in a “windrow”— with peanuts up and leaves down.

Combining is the Last Step.

Peanuts contain 25 to 50 percent dampness when originally burrowed and are dried to 10 percent or less so they can be put away. They are normally left in windrows for a few days to fix, or dry, before the following stage. (Peruse more about the historical backdrop of nut reaping.)

In the wake of drying in the field, a join isolates the peanuts from the plants, putting the peanuts into a container on the highest point of the machine and keeping the plants back in the field. Nut plants can be left in the field to sustain the dirt or be utilized as nutritious domesticated animals feed. Newly consolidated peanuts are then positioned into nut carts for additional restoring with constrained warm air circling through the cart.

Peanuts Require Less Water than Other Nuts.

Nut plants need 1.5 to 2 creeps of water for each week during bit improvement; be that as it may, all that’s needed is five gallons of water to deliver an ounce of peanuts, contrasted with 80 gallons for an ounce of almonds. On the off chance that downpour doesn’t address those issues, ranchers will water the fields. The nut is a nitrogen-fixing plant; its underlying foundations structure modules which assimilate nitrogen from the air and give advancement and sustenance to the plant and soil.

How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa

Farming South Africa – How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa

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One Reply to “How to farm with Peanuts in South Africa”

  1. Hallo
    I please need to learn more about small scale distribution of ground peanuts.
    I want to start a business and am doing my market research on ground peanuts.
    I need to know if there are farmers who have stock on hand that they need to sell.
    I have a lot of knowledge to gain and want to learn as much as possible before i can invest to start a business

    Thank you.
    Take care, have fun,
    Annette Viljoen

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