JLA Crop Report – August 20, 2015

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The peanut crop in the V-C region is very diverse in growth and development due to distribution of rain. Although significant rainfall occurred during the past week, amounts across the region ranged from no rain in many areas to 3 to 4 inches. Although the rains will help in many field, it will be impossible for some of the peanuts in many locations to reach full yield potential. The current estimate is that 25% of the peanut crop in the region has experienced enough moisture stress that yields will be at or below average. Approximately 15% of those acres will yield approximately 80% of optimum yield. About 10% of peanut under significant drought stress will yield no more than 60% of optimum yield. Figures 1-3 are examples of spider mite-infested fields which are also under significant drought stress. Peanut growing under moderate drought stress for much of the season is also presented (Figure 4). Peanut from Lewiston-Woodville under good growing conditions with irrigation planted May 5, 18, and 27 is provided in Figures 5-7. Development of pods and kernels from the most mature pods for these respective planting dates is provided in Figure 8.

Management practices are very diverse for farmers at the current time due to rainfall patterns. Some growers are applying miticides and are delaying fungicide applications until conditions change. Others have received over 25 inches of rain since early May with rainfall events having been excessive, causing challenges with nutrient status and management.

The peanut crop in the V-C region is extremely variable at this point in the season. With only five weeks away from major digging and harvesting operations, peanut in some areas will not have time to make up for drought stress suffered so far. Estimates remain the same for planted acres at 230,000 or 93,000 ha for the region. The yield estimate is now 3,600 pounds/acre (4,032 kg/ha) at the current time.

Sporadic spider mite infestation in peanut under hot and dry conditions

Figure 1. Sporadic spider mite infestation in peanut under hot and dry conditions

Severe drought and infestation of spider mites

Figure 2. Severe drought and infestation of spider mites

Spider mite webbing in the peanut canopy

Figure 3. Spider mite webbing in the peanut canopy

Peanut growing under dry conditions for much of the season

Figure 4. Peanut growing under dry conditions for much of the season

Peanut plants - planted May 5 and image recorded August 20

Figure 5a. Peanut planted May 5 and image recorded August 20

Peanut field planted May 5 and image recorded August 20

Figure 5b. Peanut planted May 5 and image recorded August 20

Peanut plants planted May 18 and image recorded August 20.

Figure 6a. Peanut planted May 18 and image recorded August 20.

Peanut field planted May 18 and image recorded August 20.

Figure 6b. Peanut planted May 18 and image recorded August 20.

Peanut plants planted May 27 and image recorded August 20.

Figure 7a. Peanut planted May 27 and image recorded August 20.

Peanut field planted May 27 and image recorded August 20.

Figure 7b. Peanut planted May 27 and image recorded August 20.

Pod maturity for peanut planted May 5, May 18, and May 27 (from left to right) with image recorded August 20

Figure 8. Pod maturity for peanut planted May 5, May 18, and May 27 (from left to
right) with image recorded August 20

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-114)