Peanut Pointers


University of Georgia
Extension Peanut Agronomist

Each year, several new peanut cultivars are released from the Southeast’s breeding programs. There are 10 to 15 cultivars in varying levels of seed availability for the 2008 growing season. Based on acreage planted in 2007 for seed increase, it looks as if 50 to 60 percent of the seed supply will be in Georgia Green. The majority of the remaining 40 to 50 percent will be in AP-3, Georgia-03L, Georgia-02C, AT 3085RO and C-99R. Several cultivars released in 2007 will have limited seed. These include Florida-07, Georgia-06G and York. There are at least two releases for 2008 that will be in the very early stages of seed increase. These are Georgia-07W and Tifguard. If you are trying a cultivar on your farm for the first time in 2008, it is advisable to plant it on a limited basis and compare it to what you’ve been planting the past few years.

Todd Baughman
Texas A&M University
Extension Agronomist

Less tillage means that timely herbicide applications during the fallow period are critical. In Texas, Russian thistle (tumbleweeds), marestail (horseweed or mulestail) and cutleaf evening primrose are problem weeds that used to be controlled by plowing or rod-weeding prior to planting. The increased use of glyphosate has led to an increase in weeds that are quite large and difficult to control by the time glyphosate is applied to burndown cover crops or to prepare for planting. Solve this problem with an application of a phenoxy herbicide (2,4-D) in late winter or early spring. Don’t wait too long to apply these herbicides since soil residual problems can lead to injury and reduced stands. Read the label to insure a particular 2,4-D formulation is labeled for use in fallow ground prior to planting peanut and to understand the plant-back restrictions.

David Jordan
North Carolina State University
Extension Agronomist
Looking at budgets, keep individual fields in mind to optimize profit. For V-C growers, Sclerotinia Blight and Cylindrocladium Black Rot (CBR) add more than $70 per acre for fungicides and fumigants. With renewed interest in peanuts, growers wonder if these diseases are still an issue. Good question. Several rotation studies have attemped to address this question, but the answer isn’t clear cut. If you planted soybean in place of peanuts, in essence, you did not rotate out of peanuts with respect to CBR. With a field history of 10 percent or more CBR, fumigate regardless of variety. If CBR was lower than 10 percent, plant a resistant variety or plant a susceptible variety and fumigate (as disease approached 10 percent). Without the levels of variety resistance, decisions on Sclerotinia Blight are made through scouting and weather advisories. Regardless of rotation, careful and timely scouting will be necessary in these fields.

Kris Balkcom
Auburn University
Agri-Program Associate

The market appears strong for 2008. Two short crops back-to-back with decreased acreage and lower yields have depleted supply. Keep supply and demand in mind when contemplating planted acres for 2008. Rotation is one of the most important factors in peanut production, and it is easily over looked when the market is strong. Rotation is the key to lower disease pressure, higher yields and lower costs of production. A recommended rotation consists of peanuts one year out of three or, even better, one year out of every four. A good rotation helps achieve a more consistant and respectable yield by eliminating some disease variables that accompany certain crop years. Take advantage of commodity prices that help us maintain a good rotation and a high peanut yield for 2008 and years to come.