The best thing about Peanut Grower magazine this month might be that it offers a respite from the constant flow of COVID-19 news. Other than a news brief on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and a mention here and there, this issue is all about peanut production and marketing, as it should be.
In “White Mold Warning” on page 10, producers are reminded of the potential for an explosive fungal disease year given the warm winter and increased moisture. Finding white mold on volunteer peanuts in early April, University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait calls it a possible “harbinger” of things to come. Consider his recommendation for an early banded fungicide application.
“Rootworm On The Rise” comes from a point UGA Extension entomologist Mark Abney made in one of his winter production meeting presentations. Southern corn rootworms, a major pest in the Virginia-Carolina area, is increasingly being discovered in Georgia. It is typically found in heavier-textured soils with more moisture, such as field low spots. Learn more about this insect pest on page 12.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service surveyed producers in the first two weeks of March for their Prospective Plantings report. In it, NASS says U.S. peanut growers intend to plant 1.53 million acres in 2020, up 7% from 2019. However, one has to wonder if those numbers will hold. Read the report on page 14.
A new decision resource is available to producers of Virginia-type peanuts: Peanut Risk Tool and Field Log. Available through the North Carolina State University Extension peanut website, the Microsoft Excel-based aid is practical and user friendly. Its purpose is to help producers determine the risk of pests based on production decisions. It can also be used to record practices and chronicle field histories. More information about this tool is on page 16.
Along with these features are our regular columnists. Tyron Spearman, Peanut Grower’s marketing editor, writes about the tightening of the market. Peanut Pointer specialists David Jordan, Emi Kimura, Kris Balkcom and Scott Monfort offer planting tips and reminders for seedling and early crop care.
You know that being editor of this magazine is a job I dearly love. This month, I consider Peanut Grower more of a positive distraction. I hope it is for you, too.