GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Peanut season is wrapping up for North Carolina farmers. Now they’re taking a look at their crop to determine when the best time is to harvest.

A process called peanut pod blasting allows them to make decisions based on the maturity of peanuts throughout the season.

Peanut pod blasting removes the outer shell of the peanut to reveal the second layer of the peanut hull. At this stage, they’re hoping to find that layer has turned black or brown, indicating that the peanut has reached peak maturity.

“One service we provide to our farmers is peanut pod blasting. It helps farmers to determine when their peanut crops will reach optimal maturity. As a result of that, they’ll know when to dig their peanuts,” said Mitch Smith, agricultural agent for NC Cooperative Extension in Pitt County.

This week was the last week for peanut pod blasting in Pitt County. Farmers have the option to use this service through Pitt County Agricultural Extension each year. This season they analyzed more than 200 peanut samples in the county.