Replanting Decisions Peanut Notes No. 37 2023

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The following is my May column for the Peanut Grower Magazine.

As we move into May, we hope to have weeds under control and thrips suppressed well enough to prevent yield loss and minimize tomato spotted wilt. In some cases, we may need to make decisions about replanting. Each year we can have issues with seed quality or with poor conditions for germination and emergence of peanuts. In the upper V-C region, I have seen it take 3 weeks for peanuts to make a stand. Two weeks is not uncommon. As we move into late May and June, it may take 5-7 days to make a stand. Several researchers have looked at what population warrants either a complete replant or planting beside what you already have. My rule of thumb is that if you have less than three plants per foot of row, you need to plant more peanuts. Rather than destroying what you have, I would encourage you to plant off to the side and leave the plants you have. I would not plant less than four seeds per foot. You will need to include your systemic insecticide when you replant and your inoculant for nitrogen fixation as well. The seedlings need to absorb adequate levels of insecticide to control thrips and the root system, in particular the taproot, needs to be infected by bacteria for nodule formation and nitrogen fixation. For growers who use AgLogic or Velum (for nematodes along with imidacloprid or phorate for thrips) this can be a hard one to swallow. If you used an expensive program for the first planting, you might shift to the less expensive program for the second planting. You cannot rely on the root system of the second planting to reach the insecticide and inoculant included with the first planting. The reason I stick with at least four seed per foot is because there will be gaps even though the average across the field may be closer to two seed per foot. The four seed per foot replant gets you close to four plants per foot across the entire field if seed quality is good.

We are often looking at ways to spread risk by spreading out harvest. In the V-C region, especially North Carolina and Virginia, we gain little with respect to harvest when we spread out planting. A three-week difference in planting often equates to a one-week difference in maturity in the fall. Peanuts planted late often catch up with earlier planted peanuts. Several years ago in a planting date trial, peanuts planted May 5 emerged the same time as peanuts planted May 15. Of course, if I had many acres, it might be helpful for those peanuts to be planted early if I had good assurance that they would emerge okay. This is where good seed quality and an effective seed treatment are critical. Our most popular Virginia market type varieties (Bailey II, Emery, Sullivan) reach optimum maturity at about the same time when planted on the same day. There is just not much room for spreading out harvest with our varieties and planting dates.

As you move through May, keep your eyes on thrips injury and treat accordingly. Make sure injury from thrips is not excessive if you are applying paraquat plus Basagran or Storm plus paraquat. Take care of the thrips first and give the peanuts time to recover before applying contact herbicides.