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Peanut Pointers

Charles Swann, Virginia Extension Peanut Specialist
The 2000 registration of the new herbicide Strongarm has provided peanut farmers with a new and effective tool for weed management for 2001. Strongarm provides highly effective control of a wide array of broadleaf weeds including troublesome weeds like common ragweed and eclipta. It also provides fair to good control of yellow and purple nutsedge. Application options include preplant soil incorporation, preplant surface application and surface application at planting. Regardless of the method of application, Strongarm should be used as a tank mix or in conjunction with a grass control herbicide. Consult with your local Extension agent or agrichemical dealer for details about the use and best fit for this product under your local conditions.

John Beasley, Georgia Extension Peanut Agronomist
The past couple of years have demonstrated the importance of water in producing a high-yielding, high-quality peanut crop. Extended periods of drought during 1999 and 2000, but at slightly different times of the season, resulted in very poor quality (1999) or very good quality (2000) crops. Very timely rain late in the year in 2000 prevented another quality disaster. Yield is obviously affected by drought, especially when it occurs during the 40 to 110 days after planting time.

Many growers in the Southeast continue to contemplate investing in an irrigation system. There have been arguments the past few years as to whether or not the grower without irrigation will be able to compete in the future. We have certainly seen years when timely rains resulted in growers without irrigation producing as good or better yield and quality as the grower that is able to irrigate. On the other hand, over the past 15 years there have been more years than not that were characterized as droughts. The growers with irrigation capabilities have been able to survive those drought years.

Ron Sholar, Oklahoma Extension Peanut Specialist
Southwest growers are looking for ways to overcome weather problems like those of the past couple of years. One lesson that comes through loud and clear is just how difficult it is to be successful with dryland peanuts. Occasionally dryland peanuts can work, but usually rainfall is just too variable during the growing season or comes too late for this to be a dependable production system. That was the situation as the summer-long drought of 2000 did not break until very late in the year. Using irrigation is the only reliable production system and that is why irrigated acres continue to increase in the Southwest. Going to more spanish acres could reduce water requirements some but for several reasons, growers and the industry prefer runners. So consistently successful growers will have to have a dependable water supply. Remember that peanuts are not a low water user. Count on the crop requiring around 22 inches of water from a combination of rainfall and irrigation. Donít underestimate the requirement.

Dallas Hartzog, Auburn Extension Agronomist
The best way to stay ahead of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus is to get a uniform stand soon after planting. The recommended planting dates in Alabama are from May 1st through May 25th . The Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Risk Index suggests that planting in the window from May 1st through May 15th may result in the least amount of virus. So that uniform germination and emergence can occur, you will want to manage your tillage system so that adequate moisture is present at planting.

From a weed control standpoint, you never want to plant into anything green. If weeds or grasses have emerged, the time for control is prior to or at planting. If you are not able to do this, weeds may get ahead of your cracking-time sprays.