Clemson Research Offers Tips For 2023

Field days are an opportunity to see research plots and to learn how those findings can be applied in growers’ fields. At the 2022 peanut field day at the Clemson Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville, South Carolina, growers saw new varieties, as well as pest and nutrient management. 

In 2023:
• A good rotation program is paramount to sustainable, long-term peanut production.
• Maintain vigilance against yield-robbing diseases and weeds.
• Apply calcium according to soil test
• Know the risks in planting too early.

“Corn and cotton are excellent rotational crops for peanuts,” says Dan Anco, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service peanut specialist. “Prices were up for these crops, so more acres were planted, which stabilized planted peanut acres relative to last year. A good rotation program is paramount to sustainable, long-term peanut production.”

In addition to corn and cotton, sorghum and sweet potato are also ideal rotational crops for peanut.

Rotation And Pest Management

Field day events also give growers opportunities to examine plots treated with different insecticides, particularly for thrips. Anco says Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus occurs in South Carolina every year and is transmitted by thrips, primarily tobacco thrips. It stunts plants, reduces yields and causes shriveled, misshapen pods. 

Most TSWV management happens at planting. Growers should follow the six-step program in the Peanut Money Maker Guide to reduce Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus and minimize yield loss.

In addition to diseases, growers also should maintain their vigilance against Texas panicum and volunteer peanuts in rotation crops. Michael Marshall, Clemson Extension weed scientist, says herbicides to control these grasses include Clethodim for Texas panicum. 

Marshall also tested Alite 27, a product for use against volunteer peanuts in Axant Flex cotton. Axant Flex technology features the Axant herbicide trait that enables the use of the Alite 27 herbicide. This technology is anticipated for the 2024 growing season.

Apply The Correct Amount Of Calcium

Calcium is critical for peanut development, and Bhupinder Farmaha, Clemson Extension nutrient management specialist, says gypsum is an excellent source of calcium for peanut. Applying gypsum also increases soil nutrient availability and plant-nutrient uptake.

“But over-application potentially can cause nutritional imbalances and decrease farm profits,” Farmaha says.

The Clemson Extension recommendation is to apply 1,500 pounds of gypsum at bloom to all Virginia-type peanuts, all seed production peanuts and to runner type peanuts with less than 400 pounds per acre on a soil test. Applying 1,000 pounds per acre of gypsum to runners with 400 to 600 pounds per acre soil test is also a recommendation, Farmaha says. PG

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