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Peanut Pointers

Charles Swann, Virginia Extension, Peanut Specialist
New technology has emerged for the 2001 peanut crop that will be of great benefit to producers in the Virginia-Carolina production region. Perry, a new CBR resistant variety with excellent yield and quality characteristics, will be available to seed producers in 2001. This variety will probably be available at the certified seed level in 2002. Also, the new herbicide Strongarm will be available for control of many problem broadleaf weeds. Strongarm is very effective for control of certain problem broadleaf weeds such as common ragweed and eclipta and also provides suppression of yellow and purple nutsedge. Strongarm is registered for use as either soil incorporated or as a post plant surface application. Be sure to use a grass herbicide along with Strongarm to obtain satisfactory grass control.

John Beasley, Georgia Extension Peanut Agronomist
Cultivar selection is an important decision for any peanut production season. Throughout the 1990ís, numerous cultivars were released. Most of these were short-lived because tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) took its toll. The cultivars that have survived are ones that have high levels of resistance to TSWV. Georgia Green has been the most widely grown cultivar the past three growing seasons. Although three new cultivars were released last year, expect Georgia Green to account for a high percentage of the Southeastís acreage again in 2001.

The three recent releases are C-99R, AgraTech 201 and AgraTech 1-1. C-99R is a later maturing cultivar that has a higher level of resistance to TSWV than Georgia Green. It also has a considerably larger seed than Georgia Green. AgraTech 201 has a maturity range similar to Georgia Green and, according to AgraTech, has a level of TSWV resistance equal to Georgia Green. AgraTech 1-1 is an early maturing cultivar. It did not perform as well as we had hoped in 2000 and we do not expect there to be a demand for this cultivar in the Southeast in 2001. ViruGard, another AgraTech variety, is available for those growers wanting to plant an early maturing, TSWV resistant cultivar.

Ron Sholar, Oklahoma Extension, Peanut Specialist
The new millennium started out tough for Southwest farmers. Record high summer temperatures and lack of rainfall really took a toll. Dryland peanuts were a total loss. As harvest approached, peanuts that were well irrigated had the potential to produce about average yields but then disaster struck again. An unusually early killing freeze in October created a situation where everything needed to be harvested at once. Obviously that could not be done and as the harvest got underway, the rains started. For weeks, growers were kept out of the already dug fields because of rain. To compound problems, an early snow fall of several inches further delayed harvest. All of these conditions reduced total production in the Southwest. Growers are certainly hoping for better conditions in 2001. Some growers are indicating that they will plant some spanish peanuts to avoid being so vulnerable to the weather. No doubt, the drought of 2000 will also further reduce planting of dryland peanuts.

Dallas Hartzog, Auburn Extension Agronomist
It was a very tough year for farmers in Alabama. Peanut-growing areas received 40 percent less rainfall than normal. The additional demands for water strained irrigation systems and many water sources dried up. The dry weather also hindered the effectiveness of herbicides. Yet another drought-related problem was a severe outbreak of lesser cornstalk borer. The only good news was the less-than-expected incidence of aflatoxin.