2015 Early-Season Peanut Pointers

Brendan Zurweller, Extension Peanut Specialist, Mississippi State University
By Alan Henn, Extension Plant Pathologist, Mississippi State University and Brendan Zurweller, Extension Peanut Specialist, Mississippi State University March 26, 2015 10:01 Updated

2015 Early-Season Peanut Pointers

While we wait for the fields to dry up enough to get the 2015 planting season underway, here are a few peanut-related issues to pay attention to going into the season. – Jason Sarver

Inoculant usage continues to be a fairly popular topic. Make sure to use a peanut-specific inoculant product. Soybean inoculant won’t work for peanuts, and the same is true in reverse. Use non-chlorinated water with liquid in-furrow products and use the inoculant mixture the same day you mix it. Check compatibility with tank-mix partners. Most of our common in-furrow fungicides are compatible with liquid inoculants. Inoculants are absolutely necessary on new ground. The common recommendation is to use inoculants on ground that is 5 or more years out of peanut production. For my money, it’s cheap insurance to make sure the crop’s nitrogen needs are met. Additionally, our ground has been getting unusually saturated over the past several years which could potentially lead to premature death of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria from previously applied inoculant. An inoculant is much cheaper and more effective than a supplemental nitrogen rescue treatment that would need to be used in the event of a failure.

Row pattern is another issue I’m trying to learn more about in my research program. In trials this year, twin rows averaged 227 lb/acre more than single rows. For Georgia-06G alone, yields were 396 lb/acre greater in twin rows. Research on this topic will continue, but I am seeing a significant bump from the use of twin rows based on a year of data from both north and south Mississippi. This advantage will likely vary from one year to the next so stay tuned for multi-year data.

Variety selection is always a topic of conversation. While I suspect we will see an overwhelming majority of acres in Georgia-06G this year, there are a couple of things to consider when making variety choices. I have heard of a few high oleic contracts going around. Last year, our top high oleic performers were TufRunner 511, TufRunner 727, and Florida-07. While TufRunner 511 was at the top of nearly all tests, it will have extremely limited availability this year. We should be able to get our hands on TufRunner 727 and Florida 07 if desired. While FloRun 107 didn’t perform as well as the others in last year’s variety trials, we saw good results in the field so I wouldn’t totally discount it. Keep in mind that these varieties will typically mature 1-2 weeks later than Georgia-06G. Georgia-09B is an earlier maturing high oleic variety but has not shown to be a good fit in Mississippi.

Georgia-12Y has been very promising across the southeast and it slightly out-yielded Georgia-06G in the 2014 variety trials. I would encourage growers to give it a shot on their farms this year. This variety has shown to have the best Southern Blight resistance of any variety on the market today. Keep in mind, however, that it is generally 1-2 weeks later than Georgia-06G so maturity determination will be critical late in the season.

Short-season varieties are a request I often get. We will have three 115-120 day runner varieties in the official variety trials this year. We don’t know how they will respond in Mississippi but this year will be the first step in finding out if they have potential in our state.

Soil temperature may become a key issue at planting time again this year considering the cool, wet spring we are experiencing thus far. Again, we are looking for a 68 degree four-inch soil temperature with favorable conditions to follow in order to achieve quick, uniform emergence.

Disease considerations – Alan Henn:

Variety selection
o I recommend avoiding the variety GA 09B. In Mississippi it has shown itself to be more susceptible to leaf spots (early and late), peanut rust, and sclerotinia (true white mold) infections than other cultivars.
o The Prescription Rx ratings indicate that TufRunner 511 is very susceptible to leaf spots (early and late leaf spots). If you plant this cultivar, you should plan on a full season fungicide program, or one that starts no later than 60 days.

ROTATE. The more summers that separate two peanut crops the better your yield will be. Work by Dr. Marshall Lamb at the USDA-ARS in Georgia showed yield differences of (click on table to enlarge):


The data above came from a long-term study initiated in the 2000 crop year with recommended best management practices followed for fertility, variety, and pesticides. The crops between peanuts consisted of corn and cotton in varying sequences. No differences in peanut yield resulted for having corn or cotton preceding peanut. Selection of crops in the peanut rotation is generally based on economic returns of the crops.

Peanuts after soybeans. If you can avoid planting peanuts after soybeans, do so. If not, treat the field as being at high risk of southern blight (stem rot). Two years of trials in fields at risk for southern blight show that an application of a fungicide just prior to plants lapping the center of the row will reduce plant losses at harvest. The two most consistent fungicides in these studies were Convoy and Fontelis.

Had early or late leaf spots last year? If you had early or late leaf spots in your fields last year, consider deep plowing (mold-board) the field to turn that residue under where the soil microbes will destroy the fungi. If you do not, the diseases are likely to spread to peanuts planted in nearby fields this year. Those fields should be considered at risk for the major leaf spot diseases and should treated with a fungicide regularly.

Seed/seedling problems? If you grow in fields with seed/seedling problems, consider adding azoxystrobin to the furrow at planting. In the past this fungicide was sold as Abound, but the patent on the active ingredient has expired and new products containing it will be available. See this previous post for a listing of products which contain only this active ingredient (page 1) or azoxystrobin plus another active ingredient (pages 2-3).

More frequent fungicide applications than previous years. Because the leaf spots have started to over winter in Mississippi, you will need to apply fungicides more frequently than in past years. At least use chlorothalonil (Bravo, Chloronil, Echo, Equus etc…). Buy it now, the material is in short supply.

Keep your crop covered with a fungicide until harvest. Significant leaf loss near harvest can be related to the plant shedding the more mature pods (the ones worth more money to you!)

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Brendan Zurweller, Extension Peanut Specialist, Mississippi State University
By Alan Henn, Extension Plant Pathologist, Mississippi State University and Brendan Zurweller, Extension Peanut Specialist, Mississippi State University March 26, 2015 10:01 Updated
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