Timing of Gypsum Application Peanut Notes No. 86 2023

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Gypsum is applied to peanuts in the month of June and in some cases into July. There can be bottlenecks in getting product delivered and applied. Hopefully delays will be minimal. I suggest applying gypsum in late June or early July rather than early to mid-June. Of course, I know you can’t always get product when you want it. My reason is that if we apply gypsum too early, we are vulnerable to product washing from beds if we get heavy rains when we don’t have very much vegetation (size on peanut plants) that can minimize washing. If you are planting flat, there is less risk of losing gypsum through washing compared to risk on rows.

The other reason I suggest later applications is because peanuts don’t need the supplemental calcium until pegs begin forming and pods develop. In most cases, this does not occur until sometime in early to mid-July in North Carolina. Gypsum can leach from the pegging zone (which is only a few inches near the soil surface.) For example, if we apply gypsum in the next week or so, it will be at least a month before calcium will be needed by pegs and developing pods in most fields. A lot can happen in that window of time that would move gypsum away from where it needs to be.