Own business: growing peanuts

* The calculations use the average data for the World

Breeding has achieved considerable success; thanks to it, it became possible to cultivate plants in initially unsuitable climatic conditions. Specially bred varieties are now grown in greenhouses, while sometimes agronomists do the almost impossible. The urban legend that bananas are grown in Iceland was true in the middle of the last century. Therefore, in comparison with such agricultural experience, growing peanuts in Russia no longer seems fantastic. In fact, this plant has long been successfully cultivated in this country, but, of course, only farmers in the southern regions can deal with it.

However, due to the fact that peanuts are used in a huge number of industries, and many food products are made from it, there should be no problems with the implementation of the harvested crop. At the same time, peanuts are a relatively expensive culture, and in a multidisciplinary farm it can become a very good additional source of income. However, in addition to the requirements for suitable environmental conditions, the cultivation of peanuts has a number of difficulties characteristic only for this plant.

If peanuts become the first cultivated crop and it is planned to be grown in industrial volumes, then you need to register as a business entity. If the work will be carried out on the territory of less than one hectare, then all activity will fall under the definition of personal subsidiary plots (LPH) and not require registration. If there will be more land, then it is optimal to register a peasant farm (peasant farm), although you can just remain an individual entrepreneur or even register a legal entity. There is no actual difference between private farms and peasant farms; farmers also pay taxes on a simplified taxation system (but they have it called the Unified Agricultural Tax - a single agricultural tax), while remaining an individual. In general, peasant farms involve an association of citizens rather than individual entrepreneurship, although by law peasant farming can be established by only one person. The cultivation of peanuts is fully subject to the code (OKPD 2) 08/18/2019 Soybeans, ground nuts, cotton seeds. The entire registration procedure will require no more than 20 thousand rubles and one month of time.

While registration is ongoing, you can begin to search for land, if it has not already been done. For industrial cultivation and for good profitability, as well as for the quickest return on the entire project, it is better to rent or buy about 50 hectares of land. The exact size is determined by the amount of available funds and estimated sales volumes, which are determined by the presence of potential consumers. It is necessary to study the market beforehand in order to make sure that sales will be possible in your region, that the product is needed by enterprises and that there are no serious competitors. Due to the exotic nature of peanuts, all these conditions are very often fulfilled. If the land is not available, then you have to look for it for rent. Peanuts love a warm climate, so they are most often engaged in the south-west of this country, precisely where the price of one hectare of land with chernozem can reach three and a half thousand rubles.

Recently, peanut plantations can be seen in the central part of Russia, here the cost of a hectare is somewhat more democratic, and can be two thousand rubles a year. However, the farmer, before starting his activity, probably already knows whether this plant is grown in his region. For, if not, then sometimes it is connected with the impossibility of cultivation. But often and simply with the fact that the peanut growing business is still in its infancy. Anyway, in the worst case scenario, it is necessary to allocate about 175 thousand rubles only to the land itself.

As a rule, only one type of peanut is grown, in any case, only one can grow in Russia - cultivated peanuts or Arāchis hypogaēa. It is also called underground peanuts and even peanuts. The latter is fundamentally wrong, since all types of peanuts belong to the legume family. The plant itself is an annual grass whose seeds are already ripening in the ground, which is why it was called peanut. In fact, the peanut fruit is just a bean, a full-fledged seed, which is intended for planting a plant. Of course, peanuts are valuable in the first place for its beans, but the green parts also go to feed livestock as an additional feed.

But if everything is very simple with the view, then the process of choosing a variety sometimes becomes a very serious issue. The peanut variety must be bred under the climatic conditions of a particular region; this alien from South America is completely unsuitable for the Russian climate in its original form. Peanuts grow best in the south of the country, at one time the varieties Krasnodar-13 and Krasnodar-14 were popular, by the name of which you can guess what part of Russia they were intended for. Zoned varieties can differ greatly in terms of seeding, stability and yield, but using not “your” variety will be a deliberate failure.

In central Russia, this culture has become possible to grow relatively recently, but in the northern regions it is unlikely to ever succeed. Anyway, soon. After all, peanuts should be planted in already warm soil, and the growing season of this plant is relatively long - up to 160 days. Thus, in regions with a short warm period of a year, peanuts simply will not have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather, which will destroy all plants in the bud.

But peanuts have much less requirements for soil quality, and can grow where other plants do not survive. The soil may be loamy, sandy loam or even practically sand. The main thing for him is loosened soil, a lot of light and heat, as well as a relatively large amount of moisture. Peanuts, of course, are not rice and do not grow in water, but irrigation methods show a several-fold increase in peanut yields. That is, if you provide a field with water supply for constant soil moisture, you can significantly increase the profitability of its production.

Being a legume crop, peanuts are a very good precursor for many plants, for example, cereals, because they fertilize the soil with nitrogen - this is a natural property of many members of the legume family. In this regard, peanuts can replace crops such as beans or peas in the crop rotation. Peanuts themselves can grow on fields that have not been cultivated for a long time, but under the condition that perennial grass grows on it. But in this case, you still have to make a large amount of phosphorus-potash fertilizers.

An interesting fact that can affect profits is that peanuts are crops that respond to soil color. Therefore, it is better to sow it on bright soils, because then the resulting oil will be lighter. Such a product is more valued on the market. Dark oil is already considered second-rate.

Peanut seed is applied to the soil at a temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius, so in some regions it can be sown in March or even in early June. At the same time, even short-term plant frosts will not tolerate. The seeding rate is fundamentally different depending on the variety, an average of about 50 kilograms per hectare can be considered. Such a high indicator is also associated with the fact that each bean is a sufficiently large seed, their absolute number is not very large.

The cost of one kilogram of planting material is about 120 rubles, for fifty hectares, therefore, an amount equal to 300 thousand rubles will be required. Some varieties require about 70 kilograms of seeds per hectare for planting, while others require no more than 20 kilograms. That is, the difference is significant. But in general, in Russia, the seeding rate is slightly higher than in the regions of natural growth of peanuts.

This plant is not planted in open ground, slightly sprouted plants are introduced into the soil, sometimes they are cultivated in a specially equipped greenhouse, while at the same time cultivating tomatoes and peanuts in one place. Due to the fact that these plants are not related and absorb different substances from the soil, their productivity during mutual cultivation even increases slightly. But planting them close to each other is not necessary, because to obtain a peanut crop you need very loose soil in which the seeds formed can be buried.

Growing in greenhouses along with tomatoes is advisable only if it is possible to harvest by hand (that is, when a small number of plants are grown), otherwise there may be difficulties in cleaning plants with equipment. The growing season for peanuts does not coincide in time with many other plants, so a separate field with a large amount of this plant is suitable for industrial cultivation. The flowering of peanuts takes only one day, pollinated flowers quickly turn into ovaries, after which they gradually begin to fall to the ground, in the process of their formation. Ovaries that do not sink into the soil will never become a fruit.

To successfully grow peanuts, you need to find out the fertilizer rate for each variety, but the rules are common for all plants: when the first seedlings appear - phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium are added with further growth, nitrogen is added during bud formation, when all the beans ripen - all three item. If organic fertilizers were applied, then the rate of mineral fertilizers is slightly reduced.

Peanuts have their own agricultural pests and their diseases, which are inherent not only to him, but also to many legumes. But experienced farmers note that the greatest danger to the crop is birds. They bring great benefits to the plantation, destroying many insects, but some species, especially during the feeding of chicks, become dangerous agricultural pests. A site that is completely unprotected from birds may not produce any crops at all; everything will be destroyed by birds. As a bean culture, peanuts are very loved by birds, and a lot of effort needs to be done to get rid of them or at least reduce their interest in the field. For this, many methods are used. A method of installing an ordinary stuffed animal, proven over the centuries, can also be effective, since many species of birds react to a human figure and are afraid of it. Against the ravens, it is better to install a scarecrow in the form of a dead relative or even change their appearance, because ravens are smart enough birds to recognize a hoax in a short time. Birds are also afraid of rustling and shiny things, which is why empty beer aluminum cans are hung on many plantations.

The most modern methods of control involve the installation of an ultrasonic repeller, the signal of which is not audible to humans, but is perceived by birds. Its disadvantage can be called the fact that it can adversely affect domestic animals, so ultrasound is not abused in a multidisciplinary farm where its livestock is provided for. It is worth studying the habits and behavior of birds that will be adjacent to the field, because some of them are dangerous only at certain times (for example, before flights), while the rest cope with cleaning the field from insects better than all kinds of pesticides.

Peanut cultivation involves the use of not only universal equipment, such as a tractor, plow and transport equipment, but also specialized, made specifically for harvesting this particular crop. The peculiarity is that the ripened peanuts must be torn out of the ground and turned upside down for drying, otherwise the beans will begin to rot under the influence of moisture, which means there is a risk of losing the entire crop. It has long been invented machines that independently dig out peanut bushes, shake off the ground from them, exposing seeds, and turn them over to dry. The most modern technology on the go processes the plants, separating the tops, peeling the seeds and sending them to a special compartment. The Chinese industry, which offers consumers low-cost combines with all the functions, has particularly succeeded in manufacturing peanut-harvesting equipment.

There is also a more economical option, which is a special combine-trailer, which is coupled to a tractor and performs all the same functions. The cost of a full-fledged Chinese combine harvester is about 500 thousand rubles, the low price is due not only to the country of manufacture, but also to the small size of the equipment and not particularly difficult technical component. European designs will cost several times more. The output will already have peeled seeds, but they can and should be subjected to further processing. Peanut seeds are consumed raw and raw, but still roasted peanuts are more common. To do this, they get rid of the upper reddish-burgundy peel and fry in special machines.

A farmer can sell raw seeds, perhaps just packing and packing them, but some farms also have full-fledged lines for roasting and even further cooking (for example, crushing) these beans. The technique can be represented by deep fryers, ovens and roasters, and their use significantly increases the cost of their products, making it also possible to trade not only with resellers and wholesale buyers, but also with shops and food enterprises. Although the latter may be interested in raw peanuts, too.

The yield of peanuts is about one and a half tons per hectare. From fifty hectares, thus, it is possible to collect 75 tons of the crop. Unprocessed peanuts can be sold all at the same price of 120 rubles per kilogram, and then the income from the sale of beans alone will be 9 million rubles. You just need to remember that not all seeds have a presentation appearance, therefore this indicator is the actual limit under the most favorable conditions, which can be achieved with 50 hectares.

But if you are involved in the processing of peanuts, then income can be increased to more than eleven million. With all this, you can also sell tops, but its price is not lower than the price of beans. But in order to earn on the sale of a semi-finished or already finished product (raw peanuts, although it may also be a ready-to-eat product, is still opposed to roasted and salted foods in the food industry), you need to equip a powerful production line, as well as set up your own packaging or order her separately. The cost of this organization can be several million rubles, the construction of a separate building for the peanut processing workshop will generally cost a couple of tens of millions, but all investments can be recouped in one or two seasons.

Thus, peanuts, although an atypical culture for Russia, can be a good source of income for the farmer. This is due to the fact that peanuts are consumed with pleasure by a large number of people (although peanuts along with shrimp are considered one of the strongest and most well-known allergens). It is used not only in raw or roasted form, but also made from halva, added to confectionery, extracted from beans and butter, and made delicious peanut butter. The high consumption of peanut seeds makes its cultivation a profitable undertaking.

Matthias Laudanum

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