Potash Question (March 2015)

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Question:

I have a grower with really low potassium indices (15-30) in a field where he wants to put peanuts. What would you do? Pick another field or put out potash?

Also another grower was asked to grow Wynne under irrigation for seed. Would you do that or stick with Suggs or Baileys?

Answer:

My recommendation is that of the soil test indicates that potash is needed then it needs to be applied even shortly before planting. In conventional tillage I would disk several times to incorporate. In strip till, I would apply as soon as possible before strip tilling. I would then make sure I put out a recommend rate of gypsum. I know we have historically been concerned about too much potash in the pegging zone and how it could interfere with calcium nutrition. But many growers are applying potash the year they plant. Some are doing so at a maintenance level, but it turns out to be many growers. They are also applying gypsum. I have tried on numerous occasions to cause a problem with potash and I simply cannot make it happen. I don’t doubt the old recommendations about not putting it out the year you plant peanuts, but if the soil test says peanuts need it then we need to put it out and there appears to be little to no risk as long as people put out gypsum on time.

Wynne under irrigation will do well. In absence of irrigation and given we have had two really good years with rain (meaning we are due some drier weather, if you think about the averages,) I would be cautious about growing Wynne for seed if I could not irrigate. It is a big peanut and approaches the size of Gregory. Yield per acre will be lower for the farmer if it is dry and the quality of those seeds might be lower if it is dry and that could impact the progress of that variety as the seed supply is building up. I would stick with Bailey under dryland conditions. Sugg is okay too. Sullivan might also be pretty good as it is small, in the range of Bailey. Hope this helps!

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-011)