JOHN P. BEASLEY, JR.
University of Georgia
Extension Peanut Agronomist
One thing we learned in 2011 is how resilient our current cultivars are under severely adverse conditions. Acreage planted in 2011 for seed production for 2012 was approximately 75 percent Georgia-06G, so we know which cultivar will dominate acreage next year, but we saw some excellent results from other cultivars. In fields with peanut root-knot nematode, Tifguard was outstanding. Georgia Greener and Georgia-07W performed very well. We are still learning about the recent releases: FloRun 107, Georgia-09B and Georgia-10T.
Many producers are contemplating saving seed for 2012. Be aware of the numerous issues to consider. First and foremost, know the federal seed laws and how it applies to our cultivars. Don’t save seed from any field that was not irrigated or did not have gypsum applied as a calcium source.
Texas A&M University
For those of us in the Southwest, 2011 will be one of those years we talk about like 1980 and other dreaded years. The year was tough on all crops: wheat, cotton, peanut, corn, grain sorghum, pastures, cattle and humans. In tough years, we often glean information to use in subsequent years. I think we did see that conserving one of our most precious resources – water – will continue to be a key for the future of irrigated agriculture. We will likely need to concentrate acres and water a smaller portion of a pivot to maintain yields at levels that will support expenses. We also learned that heat and humidity play a part in peanut production. Watering fewer acres will likely allow us to better supply the plant with needed water, while also increasing humidity, which is critical to bloom set, and offsetting extended heat.
North Carolina State University
Harvest in the Virginia-Carolina area has been a challenging. Inconsistent weather, especially rainfall, contributed to differences in crop maturity and subsequent digging dates. Rainfall in late September and mid-October made digging and harvest operations difficult. Timely digging influences yield and market grades.
This past season was also a reminder of the negative impact of excessive temperatures on peanut growth and development. High temperatures during June and July affected pollination, fruit set and yields and grades.
The 2011 V-C crop has been a mixed bag for all of the above reasons. Hopefully higher prices will help us overcome some of the production challenges we experienced this year and will move us into a positive spirit for 2012.
I would have never thought the 2011 crop year could have been as dry as 2010. It’s rare to have back-to-back years that are hot and dry. The later-planted peanuts have been better for the past three years until this year. The April-planted dryland peanuts were the best. We had adequate soil moisture at that time, and those peanuts were ready to set a crop when they got their only rain in late June and early July. The extreme heat and dry weather took its toll on Alabama’s crop this past year resulting in a number of Seg. 2s and 3s with the state average ranging between 2,600 to 2,800 pounds per acre. Nearly 30 percent of the crop was planted late, and those will be our lowest yielding peanuts. The climatologists have predicted next year to be very similar to this past year. With that in mind, the best option is to plant early.