Ricky and Delano Kneece Farms of Pelion, S.C., continued its mastery of the South Carolina peanut production contest in 2009, winning the Large Farm category for the fourth consecutive year. Their Virginia-type peanuts averaged 5,705 pounds per acre on 396 irrigated acres.
Kneece Farms production team consists of Ricky Kneece; his father, Delano; Ricky’s son, Kain; Ricky’s cousin, Luther Kneece; and employee Willie Dodds.
Ricky Kneece credits the overall production program of fertility and tillage for the outstanding yield achievements and specifically highlights the need for using a peanut inoculant.
“We’ve always used an inoculant. You have to in this area (central South Carolina) or the plants do poorly and are yellow because of the lack of nitrogen.”
Kneece’s inoculant of choice for 2009 was Vault liquid peanut inoculant with BioStacked technology applied in-furrow.
“We like it because of its extra fungicide and growth-enhancement ingredients. We prefer the liquid formulation.
“The Vault representative for our area will bend over backwards for you. We really appreciate that kind of support.”
Keeps Same Rotation
The farm’s rotation, corn, cotton, corn and peanuts, stays pretty much the same, says Kneece, so that peanut acreage remains stable. Soil sampling is also an important component.
“We tend to have high zinc levels, and we need to maintain a pH of at least 6.5 to 6.7,” he says. “We take one soil sample in the fall and another about 30 days before planting. If the samples say we need lime, then we put on lime.”
Unlike some producers, Kneece’s production program includes fertilizer.
“We like to put on potash about a month ahead of planting so it has time to break down before the peanuts need it.
“We also apply trace minerals like boron and manganese - whatever the soil test tells us is needed. We’ll even put down 30 units of nitrogen because we’ve found that pays off in better performance.”
|• Uses in-furrow liquid
• Maintains rotation to keep peanut
• Fertilizes according to soil test, also
• Tillage remains important component
Tillage Prepares For Peanuts
In the fall, corn stalks are chopped, followed by a trip with a homemade implement featuring rolling coulters, then a deep-tillage tool is pulled at an angle to shatter subsoil compaction. Finally, a no-till drill is used to seed a cover of wheat.
The wheat is burned down with a herbicide in the spring prior to planting. The desired planting date is May 10 with a planned growing season of 135 days. PG
Information for this article was provided by Becker Underwood.