Managing for fungus while drying

Drying on a tarp is a low-cost, but important way to manage to reduce fungal infection.

In most situations, the pods must be removed from the vine to complete drying. This can be done immediately after digging or after the groundnuts dry somewhat on the vine in the field.

Freshly dug pods may have 35% moisture, and Aspergillus infection can occur at moisture levels above 10%, so the longer the pods take to dry, the greater the chance of infection.

After allowing the plants and pods to dry in the field, producers may continue to dry pods on a tarp, concrete or trays. Keeping the pods off the bare ground separates them from the moisture of the soil and allows them to dry evenly and quickly. Drying on tarps also allows farmers to move the crop more easily, such as moving it indoors quickly to avoid rain or pest damage.