Peanut Pointers

Jason Woodward

Texas Agri-Life Extension
Plant Pathologist

Budget for Needed Inputs

As has been the case the past few years, planting intentions for peanuts in the Southwest are up in the air at this time. Producers who are thinking about growing peanuts in 2016 must consider several factors in preparation for planting. Variety selection is often the most important decision a grower can make, but seed availability, disease resistance packages needed, growth characteristics, maturity issues or specific marketing options can complicate this task. Producers are encouraged to review local information and data before selecting which varieties to plant. Changes to seeding rates can be made in order to reduce input costs assuming high-quality seed is used.

When changes in market type are being contemplated, it is important that estimates reflect a realistic yield goal as differences in yield potential exist between runner, Spanish, Valencia and Virginia types. The decision to grow other market types may also affect other budget categories, such as fungicide selection, the number of applications warranted or the number of irrigation events.

With the development of herbicide resistance in the Southern High Plains, it is critical that budgets include adequate inputs for herbicides and cultural practices to properly control weed flushes and escapes. Information on these and other aspects of production can be obtained from local Extension personnel.

North Carolina State University
Extension Agronomist

Timeliness Is Key

David Jordan
David Jordan

Prior to 2015, peanut yields in the Virginia-Carolina region had been breaking new records almost every year. In addition to excellent farmers, key factors influencing peanut yield were high-yielding varieties with good disease resistance, a high percentage of peanut planted on suitable land to reduce digging losses, long rotations and availability of effective crop protection materials.

The wild card seems to be weather, and this year demonstrated that point. Yields will be off about 1,000 pounds per acre for the V-C region. Weather came in two extremes: a dry summer and a wet, warm fall. About 25 percent of the crop was negatively affected after digging but before combining. This does not happen often, and we mostly worry about peanuts staying in the field too long before digging. In 2015, the window for digging and combining was very narrow all the way through November. Dry and sunny days were hard to come by.

With that said, one of the most critical aspects of production is timeliness, and this applies to every practice. Perhaps the most critical of these is harvest. Many years ago, I asked one of my uncles (three of whom grew peanuts at the time), “How does one get started as a farmer?” I was thinking he would list all of the tractors and tillage implements, but instead it was harvesting equipment. The take-home message was, if you have your own harvesting equipment, you can be timelier and your investment in the crop for the entire season is less likely to be lost at the very end.

Most peanut growers now have their own equipment. The question is whether or not what they have is adequate if there are any “hiccups” in the fall such as major breakdowns or bad weather. While there might not be any money to invest from the 2015 cropping season after bills are paid, investing in harvesting equipment and people to help run it might pay the biggest dividend. It’s a long way to harvest with a lot to do between now and then. But setting everything up for harvest and being able to do that in a timely manner is critical — there is much to do in the fall and a short period of time in which to do it.

University of Georgia
Extension Agronomist

Making a Good Plan

Scott Monfort

What can a grower do to increase the chances of making a profitable peanut crop in 2016? It is all about proper planning and obtaining the right production information. First, begin talking with your peanut buying points and attend county/regional/state Extension production meetings during the next few weeks. These meeting are the place to ask questions regarding your situation so you can begin to form a plan of attack for the upcoming season.

To help get you started, here are some production points to consider.

Field History: The shorter the rotation and greater the disease pressure, the higher the risk for problems. In these situations, growers need to budget for more inputs and not try to reduce inputs, which will potentially add to your losses. PP216MakingaGoodPlanRefer to Peanut Rx for more detailed information on your risk of disease development based on your field information. Contact your county agent for more information. The Peanut Rx app can be accessed from smartphones with Apple or Android operating systems. Those with an Android operating system can go to Google Play and search “UGA Peanut Rx.” Growers using iPhones should go to the Apple App Store and search “Peanut Rx.” The app is free and only takes a few minutes to download.

Soil Sample: Growers need to fix fertility and pH problems before the planting season. Remember, peanut do not require the same fertility as cotton and corn to produce a high-yielding crop.

Variety Selection: In Georgia, a majority of producers will plant Georgia-06G. However, there are other varieties available for limited acres. Georgia-12Y has shown great yield potential in variety trials across Georgia and should be considered in fields with severe white mold. In root-knot nematode problem fields, growers can choose Tifguard or the new Georgia-14N. Both have superior root-knot nematode resistance. Lastly, growers interested in high-oleic peanuts have several high-yielding varieties to pick from like Georgia-09B, Georgia 13-M, TUFRunner™ ‘727’ and TUF-Runner™ ‘511.’


Auburn University
Agri-Program Associate

Soil Sample For Fertility Needs

Kris Balkcom
Kris Balkcom

Early on last year, it was predicted that we would transition to a strong El Niño weather pattern, meaning that we would endure an increase in rainfall for the fall period. The prediction couldn’t have been more correct. We struggled in certain areas to get enough rainfall during July and August. Then harvest time showed up at the same time as El Niño. This delayed harvest for some producers and hindered them from being timely with getting their crop out of the field, which resulted in fields too wet to work in, and increased temperatures that caused the peanuts to sprout and fall off.

Looking at the total production for Alabama last year shows a yield of 3,350 pounds per acre.  Along with lower yields for two years in a row for Alabama, we also endured more quality issues and peanuts going Seg. 2 and Seg. 3 again because of the weather.PPSoilSampleFertNeeds

With suppressed commodity prices, I encourage producers to manage their inputs closely, which makes soil sampling an important part of production. Soil sampling informs the grower of the amount of nutrients in the soil for the crop and exactly what is needed to fulfill the crop’s fertility requirements to make a justifiable yield. The soil test lab at Auburn University will work with producers using precision soil sampling.


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