Thinking About Apogee

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Many of the peanuts in the state will lap middles within the next 2 weeks. Some will lap the middles by middle of the coming week and actually there are a few peanuts lapping right now (especially in lower areas of fields). The recommendation for use of Apogee is to apply this product at 50% row closure. Apogee decreases internode elongation but it will not shorten internodes. Do not apply Apogee too early – make sure rows are lapped or very close to lapping.

With Bailey, we have not seen the yield increases we used to see with varieties like NC 12C, Perry, etc. even though Bailey often has excessive growth. Certainly tracking rows really helps in the fall while digging and Apogee always improves one’s ability to stay in the right place while digging. However, with guidance systems the value of “seeing rows” is diminished. When we looked at the reason for yield increases from Apogee (with a student back in the early 2000s), yield increases were coming from a combination of row visibility in farmer’s fields and holding on pods. In small-plot research where we were able to track rows well regardless of growth of peanut, the yield increase was coming from holding on pods.

With Bailey, I think some of the high yields we have observed (consistently high yields) are coming from good natural pod retention. We have not documented this but in addition to this variety having a good bit of “buffer” when management is less than optimum or when weather conditions are unfavorable to get things done for disease management, etc., I think this variety is holding on pods rather well and giving people a cushion when it comes to timely digging. I do think with Bailey and excessive vine growth we might be losing some pods as the vines and pods move through the inverter. It can get mighty tight in there with excessive vine growth but I don’t know that Apogee helps much in that situation in terms of pod retention. But having less vine growth and mass going through the digger would help and Apogee will certainly do this.

Apogee is certainly a good plant growth regulator and will make it easier to see rows in the fall for digging. But is not going to add a great deal of yield outside of yield losses one might have from challenges with following rows during digging without this product. But in fields without GPS tracking, especially with rank growth and limited beds to “feel” while digging (strip till, for example), it will save yield.

Being timely with the first application and using nitrogen solution or ammonium sulfate are critical. Adding crop oil concentrate is also helpful in optimizing performance. If you decide to mix other products with Apogee, make sure you check labels for adjuvant requirements. I have not observed issues with mixtures (and over the years we have looked at a lot of these) but the nitrogen is a must with Apogee and you need to make sure the nitrogen does not impact efficacy of other tank-mix partners.

Also, there might be an inclination to delay Apogee past 50% row closure so that it can tag along with another product. Don’t wait too late to start even if you make Apogee a single application and have to come back soon thereafter with other materials such as micronutrients, insects, weeds and disease.

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2014-089)