Peanut Planting, Burndowns and Surveys

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It seemed cold and wet this morning coming into work…I would hate to be a peanut in the ground right now…I suspect some peanuts were planted last week. See note below from a few weeks ago.

No need to get in a rush to plant…first week of May is soon enough…weather is so unpredictable and cost of seed approaches $150/acre. A two to three week difference in planting date will correspond to a 7 to 10 day difference in peanut maturity in the fall, in most cases. Plants will catch up. Possible freeze in some areas is predicted tonight while next week it may hit 90 degrees. People of a certain age always talk of the “cold snap in May.” That is not so bad if it is a regular cold snap, but a real cold snap can hurt the crop, especially if it is wet. In 2005 peanuts planted in early May took almost 3 weeks to emerge while those planted in mid May took less time and actually matched well in terms of maturity with the early planted peanuts. We probably lost some of the stand during that cold snap too.

JUST A NOTE OF CAUTION…

I had a question about 2,4-D as a burndown for marestail in peanut. The label will say 4 weeks or until residues of 2,4-D have dissipated (or some terminology to this affect.) We have applied it much closer to planting with no negative impact. Peanuts have pretty good tolerance to direct applications. BUT, anything closer than 3 weeks is a risk and we are spending close to $150/acre on seed. So, stick with the minimum of 3 weeks to be safe. We need to get growers with marestail to apply 2,4-D much earlier than the last week of April. Those weeds have been out there for much of the winter, and there is some tobacco out there by this time of the year. Strongarm can suppress big marestail and control small marestail. Outside of that we have noting that is effecting. I one-two punch of glyphosate and paraquat works rather well (but we have to assume glyphosate resistance). Two shots of paraquat can get you close, but that is at the burndown rate and not the peanut rate.

Keep in mind that our thrips control options are less effective now, so peanut planted early that do not grow rapidly will be vulnerable. This is another reason to delay planting until around May 10 (two weeks from now.) I also don’t think we gain much maturity wise by being early (see note above.) There is value in “getting things done” when you have time, but doing this relative to peanuts is very risky.

So, how are the grower surveys coming along? Provide names and I will have a raffle for $500 of product. Be honest, how many of you have been able to get surveys completed. I have one from Craven/Beaufort.

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2012-013)