V-C Peanut News Article (April 2015)

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Moving into May there are many decisions to be made that will set the stage for the remainder of the season. We can definitely learn from the previous year or groups of years as we move forward. We had a tremendous peanut crop in 2013 and especially 2014. Results from both years in terms of yield for growers that made 5000 pounds on all of their production in North Carolina are presented in Table 1. We were slow organizing a recognition luncheon for the 2013 season but we planned well for the 2014 luncheon. The number of participants (19 versus 36) reflects planning and not the number of growers that had 5000 pounds during those years.

As many of you are aware, we ask growers to fill out a survey of their production practices when they enter either the County Champion Contest of to be members of the 5000 Pound Club. In bullet form to follow, here are some of the major practices from the past few years (2010-2013) representing 74 growers in these categories. I excluded variety information because we have moved into era where Bailey is our key variety, followed by Sugg and then CHAMPS. Also, data from the survey reflected a considerable amount of Temik being used and we have moved away from that as well. In addition to this set of summary comments, I am also sharing information presented at grower meetings a few months ago which includes survey questions from a larger pool of growers based on what they did for the 2013 crop (Tables 2-4.) Note that the percentage of growers fumigating and deep tilling is higher for the pool of top growers compared with all growers. Some of the growers in the top grower category win their county championship each year, and this can make a percentage higher for a particular practice because they are entered multiple times. Colleagues from the University of Georgia indicate that many growers at the top of their list of champions deep till. We have decreased the amount of deep tillage in North Carolina from 58% of growers in 1998 to only 7% in 2014, and during that period of time yields have increased substantially. While I would not conclude that deep tillage was holding us back, I would suggest that we have done really well with “limited conventional tillage” and in fact yields have progressed really well without deep tillage. I would never argue with anyone about their practices, especially tillage (I find that life goes better without arguing, especially over what deer stand to get in and an individual’s tillage practices.) A higher percentage of the top growers fumigated with metam sodium than the larger pool of growers. Also, 30% of all growers applied Apogee while this number was 47% for top growers.

  1. The percentage of peanut yields among farmers in various yield categories (pounds per acre) included: 2,500- 3,000 (2%), 3,001-3,500 (2%), 3,501-4,000 (5%), 4,001-4,500 (15%), 4,501-5,000 (24%), 5,001-5,500 (27%), 5,501-6,000 (18%), 6,001-6,500 (5%), and 6,501-7,000 (2%)
  2. Fifty-eight percent of farmers planted before May 15 with 42% planting after this date while several farmers planted both prior to and following May 15
  3. Thirty percent planted between 100-120 pounds per acre, 45% planted between 121-140 pounds per acre, and 25% planted 140 pounds per acre or more
  4. Eighty-seven percent of farmers reported planting in in single rows while 13% reported planting in twin rows
  5. Twenty-two percent of farmers planted in rows spaced 38 inches apart with the balance of producers planting in rows spaced 36 inches apart (78%)
  6. Twenty percent of farmers irrigated
  7. Seventy-five percent farmers disked, 47% field cultivated, 43% bedded, and 34% ripped and bedded, 18% chisel plowed or mold board plowed with 1 farmer no tilling and 27% of farmers strip tilling
  8. All farmers had at least two crops between peanut plantings with 10% of farmers having only 2 crops, 41% with 3 crops, and 49% with at least 4 crops between peanut plantings
  9. Boron was applied by 97% of farmers while 76% and 77% of farmers applied manganese and Bradyrhizobia inoculant, respectively
  10. Forty-seven percent of farmers applied the plant growth regulator prohexadione calcium (Apogee)
  11. Twenty-eight percent of growers planted one cultivar, 30% planted two cultivars, 24% planted three cultivars, and 18% planted four or more cultivars
  12. Primary postemergence applications of insecticides included Asana XL (34%), Karate Z (19%), and Lorsban (38%)
  13. The percentage of farmers spraying <3, 4, 5, 6, or >6 times for leaf spot/stem rot were 7%, 25%, 48%, 15% and 5%, respectively
  14. Thirty-eight percent of farmers fumigated with metam sodium for CBR while 12% treated peanut to control spider mites.

The past is nice and we relish the successes we have had. There is a saying that, the older I get the better I was. And while that gives us a bit of warning in terms of standing too much on past accomplishments, there is also a saying that, you’re only as good as your last at bat. That’s a bit critical and could cause one to a press a bit too much. Balancing knowledge from the past with new possibilities for the future is the way progress is made. With that said, this article has given us more on what we have done historically. As we move into 2015 we hope you will take advantage of the resources offered through North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association. Barbara, Rick and I also send out Peanut Notes to Cooperative Extension Service agents with peanut responsibilities. We hope that we address key issues as the year progresses. Best wishes for the 2015 crop.

Table 1. Brief summary of yield information from 5,000 Pound Club participants in North Carolina during 2014 and 2015
Category 2014 2015
Number of Growers 19 36
Average yield in pounds per acre 5,442 5,681
Range of yield in pounds per acre 5,002-6,717 5,009-7,090
Average acreage 175 186
Range of acreage 33-716 40-649
Table 2. Percentage associated with the following tillage practices. Data are from the 2013 crop representing 157 growers from Virginia and North Carolina Peanut covering 34,211 acres.
Disk 75
Chisel 12
Moldboard plow (bottom plow) 5
Field cultivate 44
Rip and bed 55
Bed 25
Reduced tillage 20
Table 3. Percent of acres for practices used to manage CBR (back root rot.) Data are from the 2013 crop representing 157 growers from Virginia and North Carolina Peanut covering 34,211 acres
Fumigate with metam sodium 15
Proline in-furrow 30
Rotation 86
Variety selection 82
Table 4. Practices used to manage thrips at planting. In the same survey 66% of growers applied acephate to emerged peanuts. *It is possible the percentage of in-furrow applications of acephate reflects some
postemergence sprays. Data are from the 2013 crop representing 157 growers from Virginia and North Carolina covering 34,211 acres.
Thimet 35
Cruiser Maxx 18
Orthene 54*
Admire Pro 21
Temik 1

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-025)