Sequence of Peanut and Soybean in Rotation Peanut Notes No. 24 2021

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I farm corn, cotton, soybeans, peanuts and sweet potatoes in Northampton County. I’m trying to establish a rigid four year rotation for my peanuts. I’ve been planting quite a bit of peanuts-cotton-cotton-peanuts and haven’t wanted a soybean crop in that short of a rotation. My thought was to run peanuts-full season soybeans-corn-cotton-peanuts. Sweet potatoes are low acreage and will just take the place of corn on some sandy land each year.

With this rotation I can have one year of conventional tillage bedding in peanuts, two years of no till in soybeans and cotton, and one year of strip till in corn. This rotation will also give me atrazine in corn, dicamba in beans, Liberty in cotton and 2,4-D in peanuts. I know there are more modes of action I could use in each but that’s what I’ve been using and it’s working so far. I like corn following soybeans because that land was no till and I can get on it early to plant corn. I like cotton right before peanuts for cleanliness, especially grass/sedge control. I already have planting, harvest and handling equipment for all these crops in place. I’m tired of wild acre swings chasing the market and want to get some stability in my rotations.

My first question is would you change this rotation in any way? If so, why?

Secondly, do you have any data on soybean yield following peanuts? Everyone talks about peanut yield with soybeans in the rotation but I don’t see much with roles reversed.

Jordan Answer 1:

This rotation makes sense. One more year of corn or cotton or sweetpotatoes after soybeans but before peanuts would be nice but that might be hard to accomplish. I’ve had quite a few rotation trials over the years and will need to see if I have a test with the right controls to see what.soybeans look like after peanuts. I have plenty of examples with peanuts after soybeans. I routinely state that peanuts are affected negatively by soybeans more than the affect of peanuts on soybeans. Even if there is a 10% hit on both, the financial ramifications on peanuts would be greater. I’ll search for data in my rotation trials.

Jordan Answer2:

I found one comparison from one of our first rotation trials (1997-2000) that helps with the question of the impact of soybeans on peanuts. And, this was a field with considerable CBR. Yield of soybean was essentially the same when soybean followed peanut or soybean followed corn (see table). Alternatively, peanut yield was much lower at Lewiston when peanut followed peanut compared with peanut following corn. Unfortunately I did not have peanuts right after soybeans in that work. This was the first two years of a 4-year rotation trial. We have continued the trial in this field since then but I have modified the rotations some over the years. I’m confident peanut yield will go down when soybeans are planted prior to peanuts. Even though the direct comparison was not made in this work, peanut yields in 2000 were lower when soybeans were planted in 1998 compared with cotton rather than soybeans. The negative impact was lower at Rocky Mount because there was a lower level of CBR at that location compared with Lewiston-Woodville. We have had more rotation trials since then (these are 20 years old now) but generally see less CBR (and this is the case across much of the state.)  We are learning more about nematodes at this point than CBR (and likely other diseases.)

Also, we generally see more issues with nematodes in peanuts with more corn in the rotation compared with cotton. So having cotton prior to peanuts as you have planned to do is a good system.

Soybean and Peanut Rotation Sequences