Peanut Pointers

SCOTT MONFORT
University of Georgia
Extension Agronomist

Don’t Cut Corners With Pests

ScottMonfort

Scott Monfort

The peanut season has begun on a warm note. To date, we have only received a few cold days going into March. Luckily, rain has been a part of the weather patterns replenishing many of our ponds and aquifers. Looking at the short-term models, the current weather patterns (above-average temperatures and rain) are expected to continue for the next two months. Does this mean no more cold weather or frost? The answer is maybe. It is still a little early to say. Since we are now in neutral as opposed to La Niña conditions, there is always a chance of a late frost.Keep track of the weather!

What impact will the warm winter and spring have on peanut production? This is not a question that can be easily answered. However, the most notable negative impact in years with warmer than normal conditions is related to diseases and nematodes. To further increase the risk of disease and nematode issues, it is estimated that Georgia growers will plant another 700,000-acre peanut crop with many acres produced in shorter rotations.

Considering growers will likely see elevated disease and nematode issues, I suggest taking time to develop a plan of attack for increasing management strategies for these potential pests. Do not cut corners managing these problems.

Lastly, keep in mind Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus has increased over the last few years. Planting before May 10 increases your risk for having TSWV. Contact your county agricultural agent for updated research results and recommendations for the 2017 growing season.


JASON WOODWARD
Texas Agri-Life Extension
Plant Pathologist

Soil Test For Nutrient Needs

Jason Woodward

Jason Woodward

Assessing nutrients within a field and correcting any fertility issues is essential in order to meet your yield goal. Doing so requires properly collecting soil samples. When testing for soil nutrients, pull and composite an adequate number of soil cores to represent the field.

In general, collect 15 to 20 cores from a depth of six to eight inches and from representative areas of the field mixed thoroughly to comprise a composite sample. Multiple composite samples may need to be collected from fields with different soil types, or where other crops have been grown or production practices were implemented that may have affected nutrient availability.

Soil moisture does not affect test results; however, representative samples are difficult to collect in excessively wet soil. In dry soils, collecting to the appropriate depth can be problematic. Always follow soil test recommendations to avoid over- or under-fertilizing the crop.

One of the main benefits to growing peanut, or any legume, is that the crop requires little nitrogen fertilizer. Studies in the Southwest have shown essentially no response to starter nitrogen, preplant nitrogen or midseason nitrogen applications provided the crop is properly nodulated by rhizobia. Placing large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer near the root zone of young plants can negatively affect nodulation, creating problems later in the season.

Peanuts are highly efficient at using residual phosphorus and potassium when previous crops have been properly managed. If needed, applications of phosphorus or potassium should be made before land is prepared and thoroughly incorporated into the root zone. Unlike some other crops, calcium requirements are relatively high for peanut. This nutrient is critical for pod development. In general, calcium is not limited in the Southwest; however, soil pH and high amounts of other nutrients in the pegging zone could have an effect on its availability and uptake.

Likewise, high pH soils are prone to micronutrient deficiencies, even in some cases where soil test results indicate adequate levels are present. The most common example of this problem is iron chlorosis. In contrast to deficiencies, an overabundance of nutrients can lead to toxicity issues. For example, zinc toxicity causes splitting of stems and lateral branches. Note that mixing soil samples in a galvanized bucket will contaminate samples with zinc and may complicate the interpretation of test results. If you have any questions regarding sampling procedures, how to ship samples, soil test results or recommendations, contact your local Extension office or fertilizer distributor.


KRIS BALKCOM
Auburn University
Agri-Program Associate

Kris Balkcom

Kris Balkcom

Spread The Variety Risk

Most of the calls I receive this time of year are questions concerning what variety to plant. Georgia-06G has been around for nearly 12 years and has been the variety of choice for a number of years. However, I am concerned with the amount of TSWV that has been observed over the past few years, and I believe that we should spread our risk out by planting more varieties. Some of the instances of TSWV are unexplainable, which is alarming and could lead to a big fall out at any given time, such as some farmers experienced with Georgia Green.

I encourage everyone to not only look at variety trial data but to also pay attention to the data from their growing region. Some varieties respond differently under varying conditions or circumstances, which we have across the state.

Here are a few facts I have noticed while testing new varieties over the past few years. Looking at the variety data, TUFRunner™ ‘511’ has shown a lot of high-end yield potential. But yield is not everything.

TUFRunner™ ‘511’ is also very susceptible to leaf spot. TUFRunner™ ‘297’ has showed it not only has the capability to yield with TUFRunner™ ‘511’ but also provide the grower with a better disease package.

TUFRunner™ ‘297’ grows a lot of vine making it a good choice for sandier soil and more attractive for the single-row producer because it has not responded to twin rows. Georgia-13M continued to show its weakness with the leaf spot pressure this past season as it did the year before. Georgia-12Y is the only long-season variety currently available, but don’t let the long season discourage you from trying this variety. It is a small-seeded high-yielding variety that holds on to the peanuts well at harvest time. I hope these points will help you in considering what variety to plant.


DAVID JORDAN
North Carolina State University
Extension Agronomist

Many Benefits To Good Rotation

David Jordan

David Jordan

Contract prices for peanut have strengthened this spring compared with the past few years. When combined with weaker prices for some of the other commodities found in peanut rotations, peanuts are attractive. They are also forgiving when it comes to weather.
While increases in peanut plantings in the V-C area most likely will be modest, growers need to keep cropping sequence and rotation in mind as they prepare for 2017. Three years of cotton, corn or grain sorghum–or some combination of these–between peanut plantings helps maintain high-yield potential. Sweet potatoes are a good rotation while soybean and tobacco create some challenges for peanuts.

With some of the issues we are now seeing with performance of fungicides and varieties that once were excellent, we need good rotations to be a central theme in our IPM programs. Certainly the economics of rotation crops and their relative risk often dictate rotation, but keep in mind that poor rotations extend their impact down the road for many years in some cases. At some point the benefits of a less-than-ideal rotation in the short term may catch up with us in the long term.

With that said, once you develop your rotation sequence, look closely at your vulnerabilities, before planting based on that rotation, and plan accordingly. Select a resistant variety, consider an in-furrow application of fungicide, plan to use an intensive fungicide program and contemplate fumigation if necessary to protect yield.

In most cases our pest management inputs pay for themselves and are well worth the investment in time and energy. Work hard to get the benefits of “free pest management” from a solid rotation, but if there is an overall economic penalty at the farm level for the most effective biological rotation make the best of it by being proactive and diligent in your approach to pest management