Peanut Pointers

North Carolina State University
Extension Agronomist

Tools Help Identify Risk

David Jordan
David Jordan

Considering all the possibilities at planting can be daunting. Having a plan is essential and being able to adjust as needed, and quickly, are keys to success. Over the years, I have been responsible for handling local arrangements for several mid-size meetings like our annual APRES meeting. As a planner, you want to have it all in place and know the outcome, even when the meeting is six months away. One quickly realizes that it doesn’t work that way and that patience and flexibility are essential.

I’ve heard phrases like, “I’d rather be lucky than good,” and “hard work creates luck.” I would add that planning, especially relative to timely implementation, creates the framework for success. I would also add that planning needs to create opportunities for adjustment along the way. Growing peanuts requires adjustment at key points. What have you put in place when you walk away the day after planting to minimize risk or at least stack things in your favor to only have “known and predictable risk?”

We have several tools that can help you think of both risk and minimizing risk. My colleagues at NCSU and surrounding states have created a peanut risk management tool that helps you see the combined or aggregate risk. This is designed to help you plan and implement practices that minimize risk. Running through various scenarios will help you be more informed about the complexity behind pests and their management. Being as prepared as possible going into the season is not the total answer to having a fabulous crop of peanuts. But, it can provide a strong foundation that will help along the way as practices are maintained or adjusted throughout the season.


University of Georgia
Extension Agronomist

Not A Year For Big Risks

Scott Monfort

Survival mode is a valid approach to this year as long as growers do not cut too much or take too many risks to produce the 2016 crop. The question is: what is too little/too much and what are the risks on your farm? The place to start would be information disseminated by county Extension agents and state Extension faculty. This is not the year to spend extra on untested products.

What do growers need to be aware of before putting seed in the ground? The first thing is rotation, and there has been a lot of discussion around short rotations for the 2016 growing season. The greatest risk of short rotation is the potential for increased disease pressure and yield loss. In this situation, be prepared to use a more effective fungicide program instead of the bare bones chlorothalonil/tebuconozole program.

Other risks to consider are soil fertility and planting too early when soil conditions are not optimum. Take soil samples in order to determine if fertilizer is needed. APP-4-2016-1lthough peanut requires less in the way of fertility, some fields may be at risk for having a deficiency or toxicity, and a soil sample is the only way to determine if a problem exists. Another risk not worth taking is whether to inoculate peanuts. Inoculate if a field has been out of peanut more than three years.

Optimum soil conditions for temperature and moisture provide the seed the best opportunity to germinate and emerge quickly, reducing potential stand issues resulting from seedling disease. Uniform stands also help reduce the risk for Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV). Soil temperatures need to be at least 68 degrees for three consecutive days with no risk of a coming cold front the week after planting. Do not chance the need to replant in a season when contract prices are low and seed prices are higher. If you plant before May 10, remember that you are at higher risk for thrips damage and TSWV. Applying Thimet in-furrow is one way to reduce the risk of TSWV in early planted peanuts.



Auburn University
Agri-Program Associate

Soil Temperature Factors

Kris Balkcom
Kris Balkcom

As we get into April and planting time draws near, begin checking the soil temperature to see if it’s warm enough to plant. It is recommended that the soil temperature at a depth of four inches be 68 degrees for three consecutive days to be followed by an extended forecast of consistent or similar weather.

Several factors affect soil temperature, such as air temperature, soil type, soil moisture, cover crops and tillage.

Air temperature is important because of the extended range forecast. A passing cold front could cause a drop in temperature resulting in a reduced plant stand. Fluctuations in air temperature affect soil types differently.

Sandy soils warm up faster than do clay or loamy soils. Conversely, they decrease in temperature faster from a passing cold front.

The coarse texture of the sand has a lower water-holding capacity than the finer textured clay soil. Moisture is slow to react to temperature change. Therefore, a clay soil with plenty of moisture is slower to warm up but is more stable and less likely to drop from a cool front.

PP4-2016-2Cover crops keep the soil cooler longer in the spring time by blocking the sun’s rays from hitting the soil; while tillage has an adverse effect causing warming of the soil more quickly by stirring it and exposing it to direct sunlight.

Remember these factors about soil temperature to ensure a good, solid stand of peanuts and avoid the possibility of having a less desirable stand forcing a replant situation.


Jason Woodward

Texas Agri-Life Extension
Plant Pathologist

Plan To Start Weed Free

Weed management takes season-long attention and is critical to maximizing yield and quality in peanut production. Yield reductions can result from weed competition for water, sunlight and nutrients. Severe weed infestations can also disrupt digging and harvesting operations, as well as physically strip pods from vines during threshing. Plant fragments and fruits are classified as foreign material contamination.

Research has shown that a four to six week weed-free period early in the season will minimize yield reductions. It is important to begin the season with a clean seedbed. This can be achieved with cultivation, as well as burndown herbicide applications of products such as Gramoxone Inteon or Roundup.

Use of a preplant-incorporated dinitroaniline (yellow) herbicide, such as Prowl, Sonalan and Treflan, provides an excellent foundation on which to build a successful weed management program. Proper incorporation providing uniform distribution of the herbicide into the top two to three inches of the soil is needed for optimal performance with preplant-incorporated herbicides. Furthermore, a minimum of 0.75 inches of rainfall or irrigation is needed to properly activate these herbicides.

Applications of at-plant herbicides, such as Valor, Dual Magnum or Parallel, will extend the level of control by lengthening the level of residual activity into the growing season. Subsequent flushes and weed escapes may require additional herbicide applications or hand removal from the field.

Always read and follow all label recommendations when using herbicides or any other pesticides.



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