USDA has predicted a nine percent increase in peanut acreage in 2015, and although there are reasons to believe they have underestimated that figure, there are more reasons to hope they are on target.
From a marketing standpoint, there would be less carryover and the possibility of a profitable 2016.
From a production standpoint, one can hope a slight increase means that producers have stuck with their rotation schemes. Peanuts planted on shorter rotations encounter increased pest and disease pressure, which threaten yields. More recently, we have begun to understand that this increased pest incidence puts more pressure on the methods used to control those weeds, insects and diseases, which then negatively affects the genetic resistance or the efficacy of the chemical modes of action on certain pests.
Scott Tubbs, University of Georgia Extension agronomist, in a study on rotation effects, says, “Loss of either genetic resistance or certain classes of fungicide, herbicides or insecticides could be devastating to peanut production.”
Another reason to hope USDA is accurate is that pest products producers rely on, such as chlorothalonil – a stalwart for leaf spot control – may be in short supply if acreage increases significantly. In anticipation of a shortage, UGA Extension plant pathologist, Bob Kemerait, suggested the following:
• The first two applications of chlorothalonil at 30 and 40 days after planting (DAP) can be eliminated if Proline at 5.7 ounces per acre is banded at approximately 35 DAP and a Provost program is initiated at 60 DAP. The first two chlorothalonil applications can also be omitted if Priaxor is used on the crop approximately 45 DAP.
• Extend chlorothalonil by tankmixing a reduced rate of one pint per acre rather than one and a half pints per acre with two ounces per acre of Tilt/Bumper, five ounces per acre of Topsin-M or Alto at five ounces per acre.
• Tilt-Bravo or Echo-Propimax can be substituted for chlorothalonil.
• An application of Elast at 15 ounces per acre can be used to replace an application of chlorothalonil.
• For a single application during a season, Topsin-M at 10 ounces per acre can replace an application of chlorothalonil.
• Absolute (trifloxystrobin + tebucoanzole) and Stratego (trifloxystrobin + propiconazole) can be substituted for chlorothalonil.
In another month or so, we’ll know just how accurate USDA was in their prediction, but whatever your production challenge is, rest assured our researchers are ready to help you overcome those obstacles to a great yield.