Brazilian Researchers Developed a New Peanut Profile Board

“For the first time, a Brazilian profile board was developed, aimed at our tropical conditions…”

Edvaldo Aparecido Amaral da Silva is a professor at the State University of São Paulo in Botucatu, graduated in agronomy, with a M.Sc from the Federal University of Lavras, a Ph.D from Wageningen University and a post-Ph.D from the Federal University of Lavras.

Edvaldo da Silva (left) and Gustavo de Oliveira (right), from Unesp – Botucatu

AgriBrasilis – What are the benefits of developing a new peanut profile board?

Edvaldo Amaral – The peanut profile board allows the harvest time to be defined with accuracy. This board was developed as part of the Ph.D thesis of Gustavo Fonseca de Oliveira, a professional who I supervise. With the support of the Cooperative of Sugarcane Farmers from the West of the State of São Paulo – Copercana, we created a new profile board, focused on the physiological quality of seeds. This means that the farmer will be able to relate the morphology of the peanut pods with the physiological quality of the seeds.

So far, we had available for us a profile board that was made a long time ago by American researchers. For the first time, a Brazilian profile board was developed, aimed at our tropical conditions. This new information can help farmers, managers, and students to better understand about the peanut maturation process and about how to obtain good quality seeds for the peanut crop.

AgriBrasilis – Couldn’t the aerial part of the plant (stems, leaves, etc.) already indicate the right time for harvesting the peanuts? Why?

Edvaldo Amaral – The aerial part of the peanut plant shows some signs that the plant cycle is ending. However, for seed production, it is necessary to consider whether the farm has reached 70% of maturity.

The end of the plant cycle does not always coincide with the proper maturation of the pods. In the seed market, this is very important because it is only after determining the maturity that it is possible to decide whether the farm can be destined for seeds or grains.

The maturation table helps precisely in this: from sampling plants in the farm, with the information in the peanut profile board, it is possible to verify the maturation. Finally, it is possible to decide whether the farm will be destined for peanut seeds or for grains for human consumption.

In peanut farming, losses occur mainly due to the harvesting system. The plants are pulled out of the ground to remove their pods. During this mechanical process, many pods remain in the soil or on its surface. The peanut remains drying in the environment for two or three days and then it is collected by specific machines. Only the pods attached to the plants are removed from the farm. The rest will be lost.

AgriBrasilis – How is peanut seed quality evaluated? What factors define a good seed?

Edvaldo Amaral – For commercialization, seed quality is evaluated through the germination test. Information about this test is present in the Rules for Seed Analysis, which brings official instructions for generating technical reports, accepted by the Ministry of Agriculture. Companies that work with peanut seeds can also carry out their internal quality control through vigor tests such as the tetrazolium test and seedling emergence in the farms. This information brings security to the companies for the quality management of the seeds that will be delivered to the farmers.

AgriBrasilis – Are computer vision technologies able to identify peanut maturation?

Edvaldo Amaral – Today, we already have documented studies on the use of reflectance-based geotechnologies and the use of drones to determine the maturation of peanut plants in the farms from an aerial point of view. It is a promising technology that will bring advances to the productive sector. I believe that these innovations associated with the use of artificial intelligence will soon change the way we make decisions. Of course, this includes decision-making on harvesting peanuts destined for seeds.



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