Follow Up on Twin Rows

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I had a question this week from a farmer considering twin rows and purchasing a planter and this explains why the twin row information came this morning “out-of-the blue.”

Here is a follow up on the data set I just sent on twins.

Yields are “about average” because the 20 trials represent over a decade of work, so in the early days yield potential was lower than it is today. We are certainly in a different place now with yields, so the 6% increase at 3,900 pounds would be higher than 235 pounds/acre and would approach 300 pounds per acre. This changes the calculation a bit for growers consistently making 5,000 pounds.

The previous note is what we have in the production book (the print screens, I don’t have the photograph or the calculation in the book.) A (several, don’t remember now) colleague in the southeast indicated that the insecticide rate can be reduced and still get thrips control (so your insecticide cost does not go up in twins vs. singles.) I agree you can get control but I just don’t see getting the same level of control you would get with a higher/recommended rate (and if that lower level of control is okay with twins it ought to be okay with singles.) And insecticide cost varies. With Temik this cost would have been much higher than what I show. I don’t think the roots from one twin will ever get over to the seed furrow or the “leached zone” below the furrow of the other twin to take up insecticide. And if they did, it would be late and thrips would have already feed on the plants. So, I would not recommend planting twins and cutting the in-furrow rate of insecticide, inoculant, or fungicide. For all practical purposes each twin has to be treated like a row in the field, other than seed per foot. Also, with the newer twin row planters, they are very precise so perhaps you can use the same seeding rate for twins and singles.

In defense of the southeastern US recommendation on insecticide rates, they do not have to worry about thrips control as much as we do. They have a longer growing season and wider planting window and generally do not worry as much about running out of time and an early frost. So they can stand a bit more thrips damage and be okay. We can’t afford to have stress from thrips like they can. When one looks deeper, there is generally a good reason for why people recommend certain practices in certain regions.

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2014-008)