Peanut Crop Update September 3 2015
The peanut crop in the V-C region continues to be very diverse with respect to growth and development primarily due to distribution of rainfall. For the past three years rainfall has been adequate throughout the season for excellent yields (Figure 1). In contrast, drought has been experienced in both North and South Carolinas in 2015 and will lower yield compared with 2013 and 2014. More specifically, adequate rainfall and subsequently high yield potential exists in Virginia. Growing conditions in North Carolina have been mixed while South Carolina has been generally dry for much of the season. While peanut is a resilient crop and rainfall during this past week has improved growth and increased development, the overall impact of late-season rains on yield remains unknown and most likely will have a marginal impact in areas with moderate to severe drought earlier in the season. Peanut across the region continue to be 3 to 4 weeks away from substantial digging and combining operations. Images from three peanut varieties planted near Whiteville in southeastern NC are presented in Figures 2-9. Pod set and vines for peanut growing near Rocky Mount in northeastern NC under moderate drought stress (Figures 10-11).
Most growers are applying the last or next to last fungicide spray for stem rot/leaf spot with only minimal applications for Sclerotinia blight. Moderate temperatures and some rainfall during the past week have reduced the threat if spider mites. Growers are anxiously awaiting the time to begin digging and harvesting operations.
The peanut crop in the V-C region is extremely variable at this point in the season.
With only three weeks away from major digging and harvesting operations, peanut in some areas will not make up for earlier drought periods. Estimates remain the same for planted acres at 230,000 or 93,000 ha for the region. The yield estimate is 3,600 pounds/acre (4,032 kg/ha) at the current time. This yield estimate could increase if growers experience excellent digging and combining conditions in late September and October.
Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-123)