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Jordan Report

The 2015 peanut crop was a challenge for most growers in North Carolina. We experienced the extremes in rainfall including a dry summer in many places and a wet and often muddy fall. Getting the crop out of the field was stressful and took a longer period of time than normal. We generally worry about peanuts being in the ground too long and shedding prior to digging. But in 2015 for about 25% of the crop the biggest challenge was deterioration of vines between digging and picking. In some places this took well over 3 weeks, and many of the pods fell before they could be harvested. At Whiteville we had an excellent crop going into the digging season. We had very little pod loss in the digging process but lost about 40% of pods during the harvesting process. This type of loss does not occur very often but when it does there are major economic losses. Vulnerability to this was a matter of planting date and maturity and when farmers dug in mid to late September. Those farmers digging in mid-September and not being able to harvest until early to mid-October lost a great deal. This was a year when having peanuts in the ground during a prolonged wet spell was a better alternative than having them in the windrow. No one can predict when this will happen, but 2015 was a stark reality that it can. The last time we had this issue was 2005. Just about everyone I have talked with is ready to put 2015 behind them and look to 2016 for a better season.

For this article I decided to look back at three presentations County agents from North Carolina made at the annual meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society. The Peanut Growers Association has supported agent participation at this meeting for many years, and along with them Bayer CropScience has supported an agent’s participation. In some instances, for example 2012, extension administration supported extension agent participation.

My role has been to help agents prepare for the meeting and present information at the meeting (see table). I have provided names of agents who have participated in the extension section of the annual meeting. Most presentations are made in the Bayer Extension Program for Excellence section of the annual meeting. Outside of Georgia, agents from North Carolina have been the most active participants. Without the support of the peanut growers in North Carolina and Bayer this would not happen. All of us in extension appreciate the financial support by both the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and Bayer CropScience. Thank you! This support increases the exchange of ideas that is foundational at professional meetings and helps agents with their professional development. The agents in North Carolina do a great job in the section and represent North Carolina extremely well.

Al Cochran from Martin County discussed the role of Apogee in management of vine growth. He talked about research from 2012-2014 looking at response of peanut to digging date following two applications of Apogee. In a second experiment from 2013-2014, response of peanut to Apogee applied twice when planted in early, mid and late-May with four digging dates (September 10 and 24 and October 5 and 20) was discussed. In a final experiment during 2013 and 2014 at 7 locations, peanut yield following 1, 2, or 3 applications of Apogee was compared with non-treated peanut. In the first 2 experiments with multiple digging dates, Apogee did not affect peanut yield regardless of planting or digging date. In 2 of 7 trials in the experiment with a single digging date, Apogee increased yield, although response was inconsistent in terms of the number of applications required for the increase in yield. Results from Al’s presentation and additional research conducted during 2015 will be developed into a comprehensive article on use of Apogee with the variety Bailey. It is estimated that about 35% of growers in North Carolina are applying Apogee to peanuts.

Mike Carroll from Craven County discussed data relative to peanut response to in-furrow inoculation in both rotated ground and new ground. Based on results from 35 replicated trials in North Carolina from 1999-2014, Mike pointed out that inoculant increased yield from 3,507 lbs/acre to 5,072 lbs/acre in new peanut fields and 4,256 lbs/acre to 4,454 lbs/acre in fields with a previous history of peanut. Economic return was determined for this presentation as the product of pod yield and price less a production cost of $916/acre without inoculant and $924/acre with inoculant. The increase in economic value from inoculation ($8/acre) in new ground at peanut prices of $355/ton, $425/ton, and $535/ton was $269/acre, $324/acre, and $410/acre, respectively. In rotated ground with a previous history of peanut, the increase in economic value from inoculation was $27/acre, $34/acre, and $45/acre at these respective peanut prices. At a price of $535/ton, increases in economic return were approximately 50-fold and 5-fold over inoculation cost of $8/acre. Mike also talked about how we have determined the most effective rate of ammonium sulfate to correct a visible nitrogen deficiency; this can be challenging to do. Due to variation in response and unknowns relative to rainfall after application and plant available nitrogen in soil, the current recommendation in North Carolina is to apply ammonium sulfate at 500 lbs/acre when peanut foliage expresses nitrogen deficiency and nodulation is non-existent or very poor.

Richard Rhodes from Bertie County discussed surveys from 74 top growers during 2010-2013. Key results are as follows. The percentage of peanut yields among farmers in various yield categories (lbs/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%). Fifty-eight percent of farmers planted before May 15 with 42% planting after this date.

Several farmers planted both prior to and following May 15. Thirty percent of farmers planted between 100-120 lbs seed/acre, 45% planted between 121-140 lbs seed/acre, and 25% planted 140 lbs seed/acre or more. Eighty-seven percent of farmers reported planting in in single rows while 13% reported planting in twin rows. 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%). Twenty percent of farmers irrigated peanut. Seventy-five farmers disked, 47% field cultivated, 43% bedded, and 34% ripped and bedded; only 18% of farmers chisel plowed or mold board plowed while 27% of farmers strip tilled. All farmers had at least two crops between peanut plantings; 10% of farmers had 2 crops while 41% had 3 crops and 49% planted at least 4 crops between peanut plantings. Boron was applied by 97% of farmers while 76% and 77% of farmers applied manganese and Bradyrhizobia inoculant, respectively. Forty-seven percent of farmers applied the plant growth regulator Apogee. Twenty-eight percent of growers planted one cultivar, 30% planted two cultivars, 24% planted three cultivars, and 18% planted four or more cultivars. Asana XL (34%), Karate Z (19%), and Lorsban (38%) were applied to control insects. The percentage of farmers spraying less than 3, 4, 5, 6, or greater than 6 times for leaf spot/stem rot were 7%, 25%, 48%, 15% and 5%, respectively. Thirty-eight percent of farmers fumigated with metam sodium for CBR while 12% treated peanut to control spider mites. Many growers were using Temik for thrips control during this period of time and varieties other than Bailey. For that reason we didn’t provide those summary results in this article.

I will be sending out more detailed information throughout 2016 through our Peanut Notes series. Barbara and Rick also provide important information about disease and insect management in those notes. Your local extension agent can forward those notes to you as they become available.

Table 1. Agents participating in the annual meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society with support from the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and Bayer CropScience.
Year Agents
2015 Mike Carroll, Richard Rhodes, Al Cochran
2014 Ryan Harrelson, Jacob Morgan
2013 Arthur Whitehead, Jr., Roy Thagard
2012 Craig Ellison, Art Bradley, Jacob Morgan, Tim Smith, Wendy Drake, Mitch Smith, Al Cochran
2011 Mitch Smith, Jacob Morgan
2010 Arthur Whitehead, Jr., Craig Ellison
2009 Al Cochran, Curtis Fountain, Richard Rhodes
2008 Mike Williams, Sam Uzzell, Richard Rhodes
2007 Ryan Harrelson, Josh Gaddy
2006 Lewis Smith, Paul Smith, Mike Williams
2005 James Pearce, Bryant Spivey, Mike Williams
2004 Frank Winslow, Charlie Tyson
2003 Al Cochran, Arthur Whitehead, Jr., Byron Simonds
2002 Craig Ellison, Marjorie Rayburn, Sam Uzzell
2001 Paul Smith, Lewis Smith
2000 Mike Williams, James Pearce
1999 Arthur Whitehead, Jr., Billy Griffin

Article first appeared as North Carolina Peanut Note (PNNC-2015-167)