Monday, July 15, 2024

Peanuts With Benefits

Early pest control and vigorous growth from the start pay dividends all season long. 
Cameron, South Carolina, peanut grower Eddie Polin

As unpredictable as peanuts can be, it’s a relief to have options with planting fast approaching. “We’ll probably be planting sometime in May,” says Eddie Polin, peanut grower in Cameron, South Carolina. “Obviously early season pest management is our primary concern starting with nematodes before the plant even emerges.”

As important as pest management factors into overall crop management, Polin also pays a lot of attention to how the plant comes out of the ground. According to him, he gets an extra boost when he uses AgLogic 15GG aldicarb at planting.

A Kickstart To The Crop

“I want to start off watching those peanuts grow, and I mean grow like crazy,” he says. “I know what’s coming. It’s thrips. I also know what’s already there, and even with a good rotation program, it’s nematodes to a certain level. Not only does AgLogic do a good job of keeping those pests under control, but there is also something about that product that kickstarts the crop. You can see it from the moment the plants emerge.”    

Nematodes are an issue regardless of the crop he’s growing, and it’s not just one species. “You name it, we’ve probably got it,” he says. “Reniform, root-knot, lance and sting – just to name a few. Rotation helps, but it doesn’t entirely solve the problem.”

Polin says the years that aldicarb was unavailable in the market turned a spotlight on the long-term nematode benefit of AgLogic over multiple years and multiple crops.

An ‘Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind’ Problem

“If you lose a product like that, you’re going to notice it eventually,” he says. “You might get by with other products, seed treatments or combinations of strategies for other pests, but unless you have a truckload of money for fumigants in the nematode arena, you’re going to notice aldicarb when it’s gone.

“Nematodes are incredibly persistent over time,” he continued. “They also tend to be an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type of problem. If it’s root-knot, you might have more visual clues and readily notice it’s a problem. On the other hand, if it’s reniform, it’s more likely to sneak up on you getting worse year after year.”

From Bolls To Nuts

It was his use of AgLogic in cotton that inadvertently drove his use of the product on peanuts in 2020.

“We had some AgLogic left over in the hopper after planting cotton when we were going back to replant some peanuts,” he says. “After I made sure I could go ahead and use it on peanuts, I made the decision to just keep going. That year was an eye-opener. The peanuts came screaming out of the ground. Since they were already late due to re-planting, that was a tremendous advantage that year.”

The leftover product that Polin was able to use on peanuts further opened his eyes to the importance of maintaining options. Having worked in multiple aspects of the ag industry from scouting to chemical and seed sales, he has a broad perspective of the impact of product availability.

“Everything I’ve done has led me back to farming,” he says. “I love the job and try not to take anything for granted about it. It’s definitely not an easy one.”

In regard to availability, it’s a complicated situation, but worth keeping an eye on, he says.

“As a grower, I want to be assured as much as possible that I have access to a number of options when I’m ready to use a product for whatever problem I have in my crop. I think one of the keys is having a strategic plan prepared as soon as possible. Last-minute decisions are never a good idea if you have the ability to plan ahead,” Polin says.

Added Protection For Varietal Resistance

AgLogic’s performance in peanuts wasn’t much of a surprise to Polin. He already had years of experience with AgLogic in cotton.

“Cotton is a crop that gets eaten in every direction,” he says. “Above ground, the fruit is very susceptible to early season pests such as thrips, and below ground we get hit with a whole range of nematodes. In some ways it’s not much different than peanuts. You’re going to get hit below and above ground.”

Polin uses AgLogic on all of his cotton acreage. Last season, Polin planted DP 2038 and the nematode-resistant variety DeltaPine 2141 with root-knot nematode and reniform nematode protection.

“Even with built-in nematode resistance in a cotton variety, AgLogic gives the plant that added nematode protection,” he says. “When you combine that with the thrips control, you’re getting protection above and below on multiple fronts. It sure helps with peace of mind when the crop is arguably at its most vulnerable point.”

Polin also planted part of his cotton acreage to DP 2038 and used AgLogic on it.

“Across the board, the cotton averaged 2,157 pounds per acre last season,” he says. “And that was dryland. I’ll definitely take that any day. Of course, we had some good luck in terms of weather. We got rain when we needed it for one thing, but a lot of luck is just having everything set up in advance to take advantage of it.”

Early Vigor Across The Board

While AgLogic is credited with providing early season pest control, its impact can be seen all the way to harvest regardless of the crop, according to Polin. It’s more than just early pest protection that makes a difference. He credits the additional factor of early season vigor.

“Sure, we’re getting the measurable benefits of pest control and nematode suppression, but it’s also that early vigor that stands out in the beginning and yields results at the end – no matter if it’s peanuts or cotton,” he says. “You can see it from the beginning and unless something goes terribly wrong that is beyond control, you can take it to the bank.” PG

Article by Brenda Carol on behalf of AgLogic.

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