Peanuts in Hawaii


Material Information

Peanuts in Hawaii
Series Title:
Press bulletin ;
Physical Description:
11 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Krauss, F. G
Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Peanut industry -- Hawaii   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by F.G. Krauss.
General Note:
Caption title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029635853
oclc - 82208682
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text

S. .



S. liaw.. Agricultural Experimei4t- aim s 1

E. V. WILCOX, Special Agent in Charge.

:: ." : ." .s

P 44
.J _,.

I ;i The peanut is an annual plant. Two more or s stinct
.t*e *y:e'.. :. are in general cultivation. Under Hawaiian c l n
:t: : "bunch" type grows into an erect, compact bush 8 ,
inches high with an equal spread of foliage; the "running" or
"f.. lat" type is decumbent and spreading, rarely more than a foot
S.. ..and in some varieties attains a spread of fully 5 feet in
: i. aeter, depending on variety and cultural conditions.
: ;The fruit is not a nut but a ripened pod with edible seeds,
S ot. unlike the pea and bean. The prominent yellow inflores-
: ence are the male staminatee) flowers, the female pistillatee)
t I .flowers are hidden in the axils of the leaves. After fertiliza-
tion has taken place the male flowers shrivel and fall away,
While the female flowers rapidly develop into the rudimentary
fruit on the end of an elongated stem. This soon turns down-
ward and burrows-into the ground, where it matures its so-called
nuts. From experiments conducted by the Station, the peanut
would seem to deserve extensive planting in Hawaii. Except
S for aunoccasional small planting made by Chinese and Japanese
Gardeners, very little has been done to develop it as a field crop.
In the southern states the peanut is prized among the most val-
.jable crops, combining, as it does, the desirable qualities of
l aleral important farm crops. The portion above ground makes

f-0 A 1
0.:.M. .+
. .....
7 ] "I ,.






"- "


a superior hay for horses, cattle and sheep, while the under-
ground portion yields the nuts, which, acre for acre, is said to
be more nutritious than the best corn or root crop that could be
grown on the same type of land. The crop may be pastured,
cured as fodder, or harvested with a view to disposing of the
nuts as a money crop. Being a leguminous plant, it builds up
the land through its power to utilize atmospheric nitrogen. Its
Roots are nearly always well supplied with the nitrifying bac-
.0' ria' 4odules, an indication that the plant is performing this
S,. Valuilh function. For this reason and because it is a tilled
.*" crop,.*oti6a leaves the soil mellow, it is well adapted for rota-
tion with other crops. Furthermore, the crop grows with a less
t"11 ai~i8tt of inoisture and on lands too sandy for corn and some
other of the more common Hawaiian forage crops.

j**..... .. IRecognizing the possible value of the improved peanut to
P, Prmoffawaitan agriculture, this Station in 1908 imported from a
-leAding grower in Virginia 150 pounds choice seed of the fol-

lowing varieties: Spanish, Bunch Jumbo, Running Jumbo, and
Virginia Creeping. These are illustrated in their natural size
in Plate I. The seed was widely distributed over the islands
and a number of favorable reports were received showing that
the peanut would thrive over a wide territory. The best results
appear invariably to have been obtained on light soils with mod-
erate moisture. Heavy soils and wet locations proved in most
cases unsuited. These results have been largely confirmed in
the Station experiments, although fair yields and a fair quality
of nut have been obtained on the medium heavy and moist
mauka lands of the Station, and under similar conditions in
Kalihi and Manoa valleys on Oahu. But the nuts grown under
such conditions are always more or less discolored.
The following table summarizes the results obtained by the
Station in small plantings and in more extensive co-operative
experiments with outside growers.

....... .........
," ..L.iiH"H
"" .: ":mE:

{ i .!!
" :


.. iill





4 .




INGS FOR THE YEARS 1908, 1909, 1910.

Calculated to average acre yields

Green Weight
Whole Peanut

Cured Weight

Cured Weight

Acre Yield

Acre Yield

Spanish .......................................... ..... 10,454 1,728 1,835 3,858
Bunch Jum b6................................... 8,961 1,881 1,950 3,225
Running Jumbo............................ 14,439 2,077 2,256 4,729
Virginia Creeping................ ..... 2,063 2,205 2,489
Bunch Virginia (Sport)......... 16,803 2,249 2,714 4,130
Data not available, but the yields are known to about equal those of the Running Jumbo variety.


Days to


The yields of nuts are compiled from eight crops grown during various seasons covering three years, under widely
different cultural conditions. The yields of green matter are taken from a single planting at the Station grounds during the
present season and do not represent a high average. The yields of cured tops are an average of two crops, one very low,
owing to loss of the valuable leaf portion, through weathering, and the other of a good average yield. In the Southern
States the yield of peanut hay per acre frequently exceeds two tons. The highest yield recorded by this station is 3,370
pounds of cured tops from Running Jumbo planted in rows four feet apart.



These yields for the most part compare favorably with the '
best yields obtained in the leading peanut-growing districts of
the South, notably the districts -in Virginia and North Caro-
lina, where the Station obtained its original seed.
No better proof of the adaptability of the peanut to favor-
able Hawaiian conditions could be given than to indicate its
improvement under several years local culture. The following
table gives the average number of peanuts in a pound of the
select, originally imported seed stocks in comparison with the
Hawaiian-grown nuts after three years' selection:




S pa n ish ................................... ................
R running Jum bo......................................
B unch Jum bo...........................................
Virginia Creeping.............................
Bunch Virginia (sport)..................

Original seed as


Hawaiian grown
seed in third


It will be noted that in all varieties there were considerably
more nuts per pound in the original seed than in the Station-
grown stock. This would indicate that the Hawaiian-grown
seed has increased materially in weight over the imported seed.
It should be further noted that this increase in weight is not
due to an increase in size of the pod, but rather to larger and
heavier kernels, which is of far greater importance. The well-
filled pods of the several varieties of the Hawaiian-grown nut
is well shown in Plate I. This is in marked contrast to the
poorly-filled and frequent "pops," (empty pods), met with in
the exceptionally large pods of the Jumbo varieties during our
earlier experiments. In selecting for seed, growers are cau-
tioned to avoid selecting the extra large pods, which, while they
are of fine appearance, frequently bear poorly-developed ker-


nels. Well-filled pods of medium size give much better satis-
faction in both yield and quality of product. Not alone are the
kernels of tho Hawaiian-grown nut large and heavy, but also is
the tonnage yield and quality high.
The following are the average yields per plant of sound,
well-matured nuts taken from a large number of select plants
used for breeding purposes: Spanish, 145; Bunch Jumbo, 184;
Running Jumbo, 208; Virginia Creeping, 219; and Virginia
Bunch, a sport selected from among the first generation of im-
ported Virginia Creeping, 190. Numerous selections of Vir-
ginia Creeping having yielded 250 and more sound nuts. The
green weight of such plants has averaged something over 10
pounds each, and the cured pods have rim about 250 seeds per
pound as against 325 pods per pound of the imported stock.
A single plant of the sport, Bunch Virginia, has yielded 280
nuts, weighing one pound and three ounces.
Plate II illustrates a specimen plant of each of the five
varieties considered in this bulletin and gives some idea of their
heavy fruiting under favorable conditions. Taken one season
with another, the Virginia Bunch, Virginia Creeping and Span-
ish have given the most uniformly good results from Station
plantings, although in one or two instances the Jumbo type
appears to have out-yielded either of the other sorts.
While the Jumbo and Virginia types resemble each other
very closely in habit of growth and size and shape of nuts, the
Spanish type is entirely distinct. Instead of the large, rank
growth of foliage, and large nuts which characterize the other
varieties, the Spanish is a very much smaller and compact
grower, bearing practically all its small, well-shaped and closely-
filled pods in a compact cluster centered about the tap root.
This is much less common in the bunch variety of either the
Virginia or Jumbo type, but totally absent in the running varie-
ties, in which the peanuts are distributed along the entire length
of the recumbent stems.
In general, it may be said that the nuts of the bunch varie-
ties are much easier harvested than in the running kinds, and


this in itself recommends the type for culture where the crop of
nuts is the principal object. Being small, sweet and well
flavored, the Spanish nut is -preferred by confectioners. But
to eat out of hand the large bunch varieties are more attractive
and more sought after by the local dealers, except the Orientals,
who prefer the smaller variety. The running or flat varieties,
such as Running Jumbo and Virginia Creeping, while they
yield prolifically a large fine nut, would seem best adapted for
fodder and green manuring. Under favorable conditions they
produce a large amount of vegetable matter, as is indicated in
Table I, which exceeds in quantity and nutritive value almost
any other crop that can be grown on light soils with an equal
amount of moisture. In addition to which, both the physical
and chemical conditions of the land are improved for succeeding
crops of corn, cotton or grain.


In addition to a thorough preparation of the land before
planting, frequent shallow cultivation to suppress weeds during
the earlier growth of the crop, and to keep the ground mellow,
but not too loose, are very essential to the best success. A sandy
or light gravelly loam seems best adapted to the full develop-
ment of both nuts and vines, although a heavy growth of the
latter usually results on heavier soils when well drained and
tilled. Another important advantage of light soils is the avoid-
ance of discoloring the pods which is likely to occur in dark or
red soils especially when inclined towards clay and an over-
supply of moisture.
The large-growing bunch varieties should be planted in rows
3 to 3S, feet apart. The running varieties require more room,
312 to 5 feet between the rows being the best distance as indi-
cated in our experience. The Spanish variety may be planted
in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. We plant 2 seeds per running foot
of row for all varieties, which has proved entirely satisfactory.
It should be here noted that in the experimental plantings all
test rows are placed 5 feet apart and the comparatively low


'* :,l,:


.. "i ii
, ii, :

. yields of the Spanish peanut shown in the table of acre yields is
due to this fact; placing the rows 21,' feet apart would in most
eases almost double the yield. Planting is best done by running
shallow furrows at proper distances apart. A six- or eight-inch
mould-board plow set to run not over 4 inches deep will answer
the purpose admirably, or the drills may be made with a hoe.
Drop the seed by hand and cover 1 to 3 inches deep, according
to type of soil and moisture; light, dry soils requiring the
deeper planting. If very mellow, the soil should be firmed
above the seeds, a light roller or the feet answering the purpose
well. If only a small quantity is to be planted the seed had
better be shelled, as nothing but perfect kernels may then be
selected. Owing to the tedious operation of shelling the nuts,
in extensive plantings it may be more practical to merely break
the pod in two, or they may be planted whole, in which case the
germination is somewhat slower, but otherwise satisfactory if
sound nuts are used. Unless several acres are to be planted, it
will probably not pay to purchase a planting implement,
although these are not expensive and are said to do excellent
work. The ordinary corn-planter may also be adjusted to do
satisfactory planting.
The young plants must be kept free from weeds and should
be frequently cultivated. If a hand wheel-hoe, such as the
"Planet, Jr." or the ordinary one-horse five-tooth cultivator with
proper attendants, is used in season, little or no hand-hoeing will
be necessary. After the plants begin to flower they should be
disturbed as little as possible. Unless the season turns very
dry, the vines remain a deep-green color almost up to the time
of harvest and it is well to pull a vine from time to time to
determine the stage of maturity. While they should not be
harvested too early, permitting the nuts to remain in the ground
after a certain stage, especially if the season is wet, is taking a
risk of losing part of the crop through the germination of the
more mature and best seed. It appears to be impossible to
permit the late-maturing nuts to ripen in the ground and at the
same time save those maturing early, unless the soil and season
are exceptionally favorable, and no set rule can be given when


to harvest. It requires 140 to 170 days for the crop to mature
under ordinary conditions. As early in the spring as the ground
can be made friable is the best time for planting. As large a
part of the nuts as possible should be permitted to mature under
ground and then harvested with vines attached, in which condi-
tion they may be cured, either in tall slender shocks made by
stringing the plants on a pole driven upright in the ground, out
of doors, or hung over lines in a well-ventilated shed.
When fully cured the nuts are picked off the vines and
sorted. These latter operations are the most tedious in the
whole production of the crop and unless done by cheap and .
skillful labor may consume most of the profits. In this connec-
tion, as well as in general methods and results, the experience
of the writer, who grew privately, in 1908, a third-acre of the
four varieties under consideration may be of interest.
Planted in the Manoa Valley in a well-prepared virgin soil
of a medium gravelly loam, which was covered with a heavy
growth of guava the previous year, the crop grew luxuriantly
and proved of easiest possible culture. By using select shelled
seed, strong germination and a full stand were obtained. The
crop was planted in July. Two seeds were planted in a hill,
a foot apart, in rows 4 feet apart. This permitted of horse-
cultivation up to the flowering stage, after. which the crop
received no further attention until harvested. The general crop
matured in about 150 days, the Spanish variety matured some-
what earlier, but all varieties were dug at the same time. Har-
vesting was facilitated by loosening the plant with a broad-
tined spading-fork thrust under the hill, which permitted pull-
ing out the plant with practically all the nuts adhering. Cal-
cilated to acre yields,, the following results were obtained:
Spanish-1,965 pounds nuts, 2,550 pounds cured tops; Bunch
Jnmbo-1,450 pounds nuts, 2,925 pounds cured tops; Run-
ning Jumbo, 1,680 pounds nuts, 3,370 pounds cured tops; Vir-
ginia Creeping-1,760 pounds nuts, 3,150 pounds cured tops.
In this experiment, the two Jumbo varieties gave the smallest
yields of nuts, due to the fact that the fine large pods consisted

of a large percentage of "pops" (empty pods). Excellent as were
these fields, there can be no question but that a considerably
increased yield- would have resulted from closer planting,-for
the Spanish variety, say 21 feet, and the other varieties 31,.
feet apart. The crop sold readily at 6 cents per pound except the
Spanish variety, which was sold in part at 5 cents per pound, and
the balance was retained for home use in preference to any of the
other varieties. The cash value of the nuts calculated to acre
yields alone was as follows: Spanish, $98.00; Bunch Jumbo,
$87.00; Running Jumbo, $100.80; Virginia Creeping, $105.60.
The cost of production up to the time of harvest did not exceed
$20.00 per acre, but the cost of stripping the nuts from the
vines and sorting them afterwards amounted to almost 2 cents
per pound, or an average of approximately $35.00 per acre.
This makes a total cost of about $55.0 per acre to place the
crop in bags ready for market. Doubtless this expense would
be materially lessened with a more extended experience, espe-
cially if women and children could be employed for the lighter
but more tedious work of picking and sorting the nuts. In the
above estimates no credit has been allowed for the cured tops.
These gave an average yield of approximately 11, tons of cured
fodder per acre. At a low estimation these should be worth
$12.50 per ton, or an added value of $18.75 per acre, about the
cost of producing the whole crop up to the harvest stage.
Numerous reports of the profitable culture of the peanut for
home use have come to the Station. The Kamehameha Girls'
School recently reported harvesting 93 pounds of sound nuts,
from a piece of ground 26 x 50 feet square. This is equivalent
to over 3,000 pounds of nuts per acre. While the work of strip-
ping the nuts was found the most difficult part of their culture,
here as elsewhere, it was in this case overcome by student labor,
a suggestion for the utilization of our large population of school
youth during vacation periods. To those acquainted with whole-
some and profitable employment created by the lighter work
about the orchards, vineyards and hop-fields in California and
elsewhere, this suggestion will not seem impracticable. One of


our prominent citizens has suggested this as a possible solution
of the labor problem in picking cotton, should that industry
become established in the islands, and the same service could
doubtless be utilized in other ways.


Some of the principal uses of the peanut have already been
touched upon. At first thought the cash value of the nut crop
might be considered of greatest importance, but in Hawaii,
where the cost of nitrogenous feed-stuffs is exceptionally high,
and in great demand, the fodder value of the plant, including
the nuts, may prove more valuable than for any other purpose.
With live hogs at 10 cents per pound, as at present, and for a
decade past, there would appear to be more profit in feeding the
crop to hogs than in disposing of the crop in any other way.
The Alabama Experiment Station found that hogs run on pea-
nut pasture produced a pound of pork on the following amounts
of grain: Peanuts, 1.77 pounds; cow peas, 3.07 pounds;
sweet potatoes, 3.13 pounds; sorghum, 3.70 pounds. The
Arkansas Station reports that one-fourth of an acre planted to
peanuts produced 313 pounds of pork as compared to 109
pounds from a plat of the same size planted to corn. Many
other results could be quoted to show the superior feeding value,
pound for pound and acre for acre, of peanuts over any other
feed that can be grown where peanuts thrive. Analyses show
peanut hay to have a higher feeding value than California wheat
hay, and approaching that of alfalfa. In the South it is exten-
sively fed to horses, mules, cattle and sheep, and milch cows
respond to the ration, while all kinds of poultry relish both the
fodder and seed. The advantages of feeding the crop on the
farm are two-fold. In the first place, the large item of expense:
in picking and grading the nuts is eliminated, and secondly the
valuable by-product, manure, is retained for further enriching
the land.
As human food the peanut is constantly gaining in favor,
and forms a regular article of diet in many households. Peanut


butter is a staple article of commerce and is highly reconm-
mended by many physicians. Every kitchen garden should con-
tain a small patch of peanuts for home consumption. The soil
will be left in better condition thereby than if left fallow and
run over with weeds. It is one of the few crops grown by the
Station not excessively attacked by insect pests.

J iii:.ii:
.1P :.h

..:. : : : :":li P;::

^ : "Hii! :":. : !||

::I .. ,

S..E E


(Slightly less than natural size)

.--Running Jumbo
4.-Bunch Jumbo

2.-Virginia Creeping

5.-Virginia Bunch

i 0

ii i//i

';'" ~-~

I j

t; LIE


..... : [ii. I

S. .iPi p:-." ,

"** ::,,:4i:y !
':::i iiiiii i., :

f' .**?
nm ." xnL

..: ..::: ::: :::

..: E :..1-iE:l
F. ..

xm ..

I xxEE







A.-Virginia Creeping

D -Virginia Bunch


L-L"-. "

* F .'


( 1 i': -....1 .,'-.

` j ml/I

C.- Running Jumbo



B'--Bunch Jumbo


Ii.r 1,*



II NlllllN 111111 11i11111 lill IIIIIIII
3 1262 09216 3087

t. i" -

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID E97TQYDO5_CSO8RI INGEST_TIME 2013-11-16T01:51:40Z PACKAGE AA00014690_00001