Peanut Stands and Replanting

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Low peanut populations:

You will no doubt have a question or two about low populations. I looked at the planting date tests from 2013 and 2014 with and without seed treatments. Certainly there can be more going on than lower stand, and lack of fungicide seed treatment could impact seedling vigor, but these are the data I have with Bailey.

    Increase in value/acre at 3 prices for the higher plant population with a yield increase of 978 lbs/acre
Plant population Yield
1.9/foot 3,995
3.3/foot 4,973
Difference 978 $176/acre $205/acre $264/acre

If seed price is $1.00/pound, then cost of seed to increase plants from 2 to 4 per foot (for the remainder of the season) is $68/acre (initial suggested seeding rate of 135 lbs/acre.) Even at the loan rate ($355/ton) in a year with a lot of extra peanuts expected and little hope for a higher price, the extra seed pays for itself and then some. There is a 2.6, 3.0 and 3.9-fold increase in economic value over not replanting (as peanut price increases from $355 to $535/ton.) You could include in-furrow insecticide and inoculant (inoculant most especially for new ground) but you could leave off the in-furrow insecticide and make a well-timed acephate spray (2 weeks after they come up if thrips injury is present.) At most, the two of these (inoculant and either in-furrow liquid or granular or acephate) would be in the $25/acre range (including going across the field) and this is still well within the value you would gain by putting out more seed. Certainly maturity could vary some, but that would be a relatively minor issue in the grand scheme of things (in my opinion). While we have not seen as much TSWV, the low population is more vulnerable and the lower stands will become weedier as time goes by.

The question is how late is too late to plant more? In the same trials, and while there were some differences in treatments, planting in early May resulted in yields of 3925/acre while planting in mid-May and late-Mat resulted in yields of right at 4760/acre. In other words, if you have a light stand and think it is too late to plant right now these results suggest that it is not too late. I would also say that the results would be about the same moving into the first week of June but with more risk depending on the fall. I don’t know why the early planted peanuts are not doing as well but that has been fairly consistent for a number of trials (thrips damage has been relatively high for the past 2 years and this could have an impact on the early plantings.)

Not wanting to mess with replanting and not wanting to delay digging until optimum maturity can go hand-in-hand when it comes to psychology. We can justify in our minds not doing either one because of preference and wanting to move on to something else. But based on these data (and based on traditional digging date data,) the extra effort pays off (adding some more seed and digging a little later.)

I will say I was surprised at the 978 pounds/acre. I talked to a friend of mine last week and I was more modest in the 500-750 lbs/acre range when I guessed in a conversation over the phone. I do think that if you were comparing 5 plants to 3 plants the yield difference would be more modest but would still be in the 500 lbs/acre range.

I hope this helps as you help a few folks consider replanting.

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-042)