Week of August 10 Peanut Crop Update

Alan Henn, Extension Plant Pathologist, Mississippi State University
By Alan Henn, Extension Plant Pathologist, Mississippi State University August 10, 2012 11:08

As a Plant Pathologist, I tend to divide the peanut crop in Mississippi into growing areas based on the “climate” and soils.  Both influence the type and amount of disease pressure experienced in that growing area and, incidentally, quality and yield 😉  Looked at this way, Mississippi’s major growing areas are George County (Lucedale vicinity), south eastern Mississippi (Wayne/Greene Counties), south central Mississippi (Lamar and Perry Counties), west central Mississippi Warren/Jefferson Counties (Port Gibson, Vicksburg), Lowndes/Monroe /Webster Counties (Columbus, Amory, Aberdeen), the south Delta (the greater Tchula/Greenwood area) and the north Delta (the greater Clarksdale/Tunica area). There are some large growers in other areas with some unique climate and soil characteristics, so the system is not perfect.

Over the last two weeks I have checked peanuts in all of these areas plus outliers, and have asked those with more agronomic experience than I what they think of the status of this years crop in their area. My thanks to Trey Bullock of Bullock’s Ag Consulting, Alan Blaine of Southern Ag Consulting, Heath Steede, Extension Director of George County and, Charlie Stokes, Area Extension Agent based in Aberdeen for their thoughts.  Any errors are my own.

Although several areas have experienced limited and scattered rainfall which has delayed their crop, most have experienced enough rain, even if late, to provide adequate moisture for this drought tolerant crop. Some have experienced too much rain, and others, particularly in the Delta, have been irrigating.

The quality of the crop is uniformly good in all areas, with good pod integrity and structure and limited damage from soil-borne insects and diseases. The pods in all areas are filling nicely and new pegs are developing with minimal loss. Losses in most cases are due to white mold and Rhizoctonia (my pathology bias may be showing here).  But, I would guess that most peanuts still require 55 – 70 days of further growth. Some fields in George County and the southern Delta will probably start digging around the end of September. Others will need to be dug early and still others late because of the lack of harvesters.

Yield is projected to be above average in most areas to average in a few. Right now, the crop in George County and south central Mississippi look particularly good.

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Alan Henn, Extension Plant Pathologist, Mississippi State University
By Alan Henn, Extension Plant Pathologist, Mississippi State University August 10, 2012 11:08
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