January 27, 2021
Peanuts could boost kumara crops
An initiative to grow peanuts in Northland could benefit the region's kūmara growers.
Nelson-based Pic’s Peanut Butter in association with the Ministry for Primary Industries will trial crops in three locations – Ruawai on a kūmara farm, Pouto Peninsula near Dargaville, and on Māori land in the Kai Iwi Lakes district.
Declan Graham from Plant & Food Research, which is managing the project trials, says trial peanuts were planted in late October and are expected to be ready for harvest within 16 to 20 weeks.
Pic Picot, Picot Productions owner and founder, says the trials have the potential to make a real difference to the company's carbon footprint and redirect the millions of dollars it spends on imported nuts to Northland.
Peanuts act as a restorative crop within a crop rotation, helping to reduce nitrogen fertiliser inputs and losses.
As almost all New Zealand’s kūmara crop is grown in the Kaipara District, crop rotation with peanuts would be highly complementary to kūmara production.
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