March Article Sent to Peanut Grower Magazine – 2015

— Written By

During the past few weeks we have been conducting our traditional grower meetings in North Carolina and Virginia. I always discuss the relationship of realistic yield potential, cost of production and price in order to determine net return. Growers are making these comparisons, especially in relation to net returns for other crops and planting decisions. We have also discussed key issues associated with pest management (weeds, thrips and diseases.) The role of Apogee as a plant growth regulator has been discussed as well as comparisons of variety performance at different planting and digging dates. In summary, a yield of 2 tons with a production cost of $900/acre and a price of $535/ton will result in a profit of $170/acre. How does that compare to other crops and the risks associated with growing other crops? With the widespread presence of Palmer amaranth, using an intensive soil-applied herbicide program at planting and timely sprays of contact and residual herbicides within the first few weeks of the season can be the most effective approach. Limitations exist with postemergence herbicides when we are forced to rely on them early in the season. A great deal of season remains. Several insecticides are available as in-furrow options to control thrips and they include acephate, imidacloprid, and phorate. Each can be successful but in many instances will require a timely follow up application of acephate. Apogee effectively controls vegetative growth of our rankest varieties. But this improvement in row visibility does not always translate into increases in yield. While we can spread out our planting dates and use different varieties, it is amazing how often peanuts reach optimum maturity at about the same time when it comes to digging. This makes ensuring one’s digging and harvesting capacities are in line with acreage with the need to dig as precisely as possible. So, this is the short version of my presentation to growers during the past few weeks. I’ll touch on Dr. Barbara Shew’s key points relative to disease management as we move toward that part of the season.

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-020)