Soybeans and Peanuts
I have had several questions over the past week or so about peanuts and soybeans. We know soybeans can decrease yields in a rotation with peanuts (see table below.) Looking at Barbara’s chapter there are many things stacked against peanuts when soybeans are present. With that said, some folks have gotten rotations in less than ideal sequences because of expansion in one crop or another based on price in a given year and then wanting to go back to peanuts the following year. I have been saying that planting peanuts after soybeans is not a disaster but that you might not be able to see the cause of yield loss (peanuts may look healthy enough) but they will yield 500 to 1000 pounds per acre lower. For someone that has a yield potential of 3500 pounds per acre under the best of conditions (soil resources, for example) and plants peanuts after soybeans, they may go down to say 3000 pounds. If you look at budgets for $540/ton that is a precarious place to be. But on excellent peanut soils the grower may go down from 5000 to 4000 pounds per acre. While not ideal, that is a different place than the lower-yielding scenario. All this to say that we continue to encourage people not to grow peanuts after soybeans but the reality is that some people are in that situation. This year would be a good year to plant back-to-back soybeans and leave off the peanuts given price.
Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2013-014)