No Rest For The Weary

amanda huber

Amanda Huber,
Peanut Grower Editor

The first workday after the time changed back to daylight savings, my husband came home and plopped down into his easy chair without saying a word.

This was not his standard behavior. Usually, he comes in, greets me, maybe we talk a few minutes, and then he’s back out the door and off to the barn to work around the farm.

After a few more minutes of silence and with my worry level creeping increasing, I asked him if he was OK. “You think the time change has you whooped and out of sorts today?”

“No,” he said. “It was just much hotter than I expected it to be today.”

Oh, that explained it. Working inside and being on deadline, I had not ventured out much. The Florida heat can make anyone woozy, even the hardiest of native stock, and especially if you are hoping spring will last little longer.

If the heat is here to stay, will you be ready to combat those typical hot-weather peanut foes even earlier this season? Most peanut disease and insect pests are affected by the weather. Hot and dry favors lesser cornstalk borer. Hot and rainy likely means more white mold. While you may see more of these pests when conditions are right, it’s best to be prepared no matter the weather.

As University of Georgia Extension entomologist Mark Abney is fond of saying, “We know we are going to have some pests in every field, every year.” It’s the same whether it is insects, diseases or weeds.

You can count on some of these problems to be in your fields. The key is minimizing risk, preventing what problems you can and being timely to stay ahead of the pest pressure. Start clean, scout and follow Peanut Rx to get off to a good start to the season. And if you need to take a break in the easy chair, go ahead. But not a long break or pests will get the upper hand.