Peanut Pointers

North Carolina State University
Extension Agronomist

Manage Weeds, Thrips

David Jordan
David Jordan

As we move into May the most critical first step is to get a good stand with the optimum plant population. This varies some by region and market type. For Virginia types, the standard recommendation is to have four plants per foot, which requires planting five seed per foot. For Bailey, Sugg or Sullivan this is generally not a challenge, but when you transition to larger-seeded varieties like Wynne or Gregory, expense goes up and getting them planted uniformly can be a challenge. Gregory and Wynne, and Spain if you plant that variety, might require that you slow your ground speed to get more uniform seed placement.

Second and third on the list are thrips control and weed control. Weeds and thrips need to be managed well during the first few weeks of the season. Incorporating herbicides is a good idea, especially in Palmer amaranth fields, so that you get at least some activation if it is dry. The tillage does what the rain or irrigation does, only not as uniformly. Applying a chloroacetamide herbicide and flumioxazin or Strongarm is important to do. We need good control from an intensive pre-emergence herbicide program.
At the same time you are doing this, it is important to make sure injury from thrips is not excessive. Hopefully your in-furrow insecticide gives you good control during the first month of the season, but sometimes this is simply not the case. Be ready to make a timely application of acephate. Too often we spray acephate when the terminals are already blackened from thrips feeding. Application three weeks after planting, two weeks after emergence, is often the best time.

Peanut-Grower-May-2016_Page_09_Image_0002Paraquat has become an important part of peanut weed management, especially as we try to minimize selection pressure for PPO-resistant weeds and keep fields clean during the first month of the season. Always add Basagran (at least 0.5 pints per acre) and consider adding more residual herbicide, especially in fields that are heavily infested by Palmer amaranth. Be careful spraying paraquat if you had poor thrips control. When the terminals are blackened, for instance on a scale of 0 to 5, about a 2.5 or more, avoid paraquat. The combinations of paraquat injury and thrips injury will lower yields. As you move through May and into June be as timely as possible — it makes a big difference!

University of Georgia
Extension Agronomist

Residue Restriction Request

Scott Monfort

Weather is always a topic of conversation during planting season. Whether it is too wet or too dry, growers will have to work around the weather to get their acres planted.

First, be sure to adequately prepare your fields for planting. Peanut planting needs to begin with a clean field. If not, you will battle weeds all year, reducing yield potential and adding expense.

Secondly, don’t rush. Take time to plan and make smart choices about all aspects of planting including soil conditions (too wet or dry), planter setup (correct planter depth, inoculant and insecticide tube maintenance, correct seeding rate for conditions), and at-plant herbicide and insecticide selection and sprayer calibration. Many potential problems are easy to remedy with some good choices, although some issues are not always avoidable. Start this season on a positive note by planning and checking off items from your pre-planting “to-do” list.

Growers also need to educate themselves on the use of Tilt (propiconazole) or products mixed with propiconazole (such as Artisan) on peanuts in 2016.  Buyers are asking that propiconazole products be left out of your fungicide program because of residue restrictions that are being placed on peanuts by European countries. Please contact your county agent, Extension pathologist and/or your local peanut buying point for more information.

Finally, it will be critical this growing season to minimize input costs but maintain high-yield potential. Find a balance between your crop’s basic needs and over-management. Keep your crop healthy and productive by making smart and economical crop management choices.

Auburn University
Agri-Program Associate

Know the Water Requirements

Kris Balkcom
Kris Balkcom

As we enter into the 2016 peanut-growing season, I want to remind everyone to be mindful of what kind of water demand is required for peanuts. Peanuts require approximately 0.05 inches per day, which is very little water for the first 30 days of the growing season. The water demand increases to about 0.2 inches per day when the peanuts begin pegging at around 45 to 50 days of age. Then, we enter the critical watering period at 65 to 90 days of age, which is during peak flowering with a water demand of 0.30 inches per day. After this stage of development the water demand starts to decrease gradually for the final two weeks to maturity, only requiring around 0.70 to one inch per week.Peanut Grower May 2016_Page_10_Image_0002

It’s important to remember that the peanut is an indeterminate, meaning that if conditions are not favorable for fruiting, the plant will wait until conditions change and become more favorable for fruiting. We can wait for this to happen as long as we have enough time to mature the crop before the cool weather arrives. Knowing the water demand will help in supplying the proper amount of irrigation water.


Jason Woodward

Texas Agri-Life Extension
Plant Pathologist

Identifying Stand Issues

Getting off to a good start requires a number of things to consider. Early soil moisture is an important factor that is required to maximize peanut production in the Southwestern U.S. While irrigation or rainfall is needed to activate preplant incorporated yellow herbicides, adequate soil moisture is also required in the germination of seed and to ensure the survival of bacterial inoculants. Overall, water use during vegetative growth of peanut plants is relatively low; however, the availability of moisture is necessary during germination and stand establishment. Good soil moisture, temperatures greater than 65 degrees Fahrenheit and a favorable forecast are considered optimal conditions and should result in uniform seedling emergence.

Shallow planting into dry soil may reduce the viability of seed and Rhizobium inoculants. Low soil moisture can kill the bacterium, thus reducing the number of viable bacteria cells delivered to the seed, which can lead to a reduction in nitrogen fixation. Adjustments to planting depths may need to be made to ensure consistent moisture is present within the seed furrow; however, planting extremely deep will increase the amount of time seedlings are exposed to infection by seedling disease pathogens.

Extremely fast planter speeds may also affect stand establishment by negatively impacting the uniformity of placement within the planting furrow. Finally, it is always a good idea to keep seed lot information, such as variety, seed lot number and viability, as well as notes related to environmental conditions the day of planting. This information is very helpful in identifying any potential stand issues.




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