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Filling The Gap

When is offset replanting worth the cost?

By Amanda Huber print email

Gaps in the field are a common occurrence, and, for the most part, peanuts are good about compensating for lost plants here and there. But at what point would it be beneficial to try offset planting to fill in those gaps?

Calls about peanut stand is something Extension agronomists get most every year, says Jay Chapin, Clemson University Extension peanut specialist.

Can You Stand The Gaps?
“I’ve done stand tests in the past,” Chapin says. “I did some back in the early 80s, and you put out four seed per foot, then three seed, two seed and one seed.

“You find that peanuts compensate pretty well for stand loss, but that’s not how stand loss really occurs,” he says.

“I’m always conscious about the kind of gaps found out there, and I’ve had a mental rule of thumb that a lot of two-foot gaps likely starts to affect yield.”

Obviously, if you’ve got an area with no plants out there, you go in and replant the area. But the question that’s always asked is about offset planting to supplement the stand that’s out there.

 
Reasons For Stand Gaps:
 

• Planter not calibrated correctly
• Planted too deep or too shallow
• Lack of soil moisture
• Soil temperature too cold
• Seed damaged from handling
• Seed quality problem
• Seedling disease

   

Simulating Stand Loss
Chapin says this past year they put out a test that was a little more realistic in terms of what he sees in grower fields.

“We put out a standard population aiming for four plants per foot of row. Then we dialed the planter back to achieve two plants per foot of row. On those plots with reduced stand, we put some gaps in. On the various rows, we put in one-foot gaps, two-foot gaps, three-foot gaps and four-foot gaps on 10 percent of some rows and then on 20 percent of other rows.”

Threshold For Profitable Replant
Chapin says they determined that when you get three- or four-foot stand gaps on 20 percent of a row, that’s the point when you might want to think about doing some supplemental offset planting.

“Let’s say it costs you $82 an acre to replant. You put out a reduced seed level, and you put out inoculants and insecticide,” he says. “It will take in the area of three- and four-foot gaps on 20 percent of the row to really start to make it worthwhile to go out and do any supplemental replanting.

“It gives us a hard number to work with,” Chapin says. “Otherwise, you pretty much have to accept the yield reduction of the missing plants.” PG

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