June Column Peanut Grower Magazine Peanut Notes No. 64 2024

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When June comes around there are key inputs and practices that need our attention in a timely manner. One is firming up weed control. Herbicides applied at planting as well as early postemergence applications have hopefully been successful, but there is a lot of season remaining. Not only do weeds compete with peanuts for light water, water, and nutrients (space and essential gases like CO2 as well,) but they also interfere with digging and vine inversion and can keep fungicides and insecticides from reaching the right place in the canopy. We recommend overlapping residuals for control of weeds. Complement your preplant burndown or preplant incorporated sprays, and herbicides applied right after planting (preemergence,) with additional residual herbicides applied with contact herbicides (paraquat plus Basagran mixtures and PPO-inhibiting herbicides), Cadre/Impose, and clethodim products. This can seem expensive, but early season weed control is critical and we need season-long control for efficient digging. If we don’t disturb soil, we will have controlled the major flushes of weeds with overlapping residual herbicides.

A second important practice is to control thrips with postemergence insecticides. Be timely with these sprays. By the time you read this, the early planted peanuts will have already needed follow up sprays of insecticides. Don’t spray paraquat on peanuts with significant injury caused by thrips. You will get a major yield hit in many cases.

For Virginia market types and large-seeded runner market types, apply gypsum at rates recommended by Cooperative Extension. We recommended rates for various products in the North Carolina production guide 2024 Peanut Information on all Virginia market types. I recommend at least half that rate on runner market types. There is a tendency to apply gypsum in early June. Sometimes peanuts are very small at that point in the season, and big rains can wash the gypsum from the top of the row into the furrow (many of the acres in our region are planted on beds.) I suggest later applications when peanut plants are bigger. The plants minimize washing of gypsum from where it is needed, if you get heavy rains and the alter applications increase the likelihood that adequate calcium will be in the pegging zone throughout the season. At times we think that more gypsum than the recommended rate gives us insurance. However, in some of our research we find that rates higher than the ones we recommended can actually decrease yield if we have low pH soils. I do not recommend higher rates than what we have in the guide. There will not be a yield increase above the recommended rate and in areas of the field with lower pH, yields might be lower than yields without gypsum.

Staying ahead of micronutrient deficiencies is important. In fields with high pH, we need to address manganese deficiencies early and peanuts might need multiple applications. Make sure the products you purchases deliverers adequate manganese and boron. There is not a magic formulation on the market. The formulation you use has to have enough micronutrient to make a difference.

We also contrast some of these products in 2024 Peanut Information. As we move into late June and early July, putting a solid program in place for leaf spot and stem rot is critical. In North Carolina and Virginia, we generally have a 5-spray program that begins at the R-3 stage of peanut growth and development (but no later than July 10) if you are spraying on a 14-day schedule. We have weather-based advisories for leaf spot that can help target the timing of sprays. The first and last sprays need chlorothalonil (multiple formulations are available.) There are many options for sprays 2, 3, and 4 to control stem rot and leaf spot. Some fungicides provide protection from leaf spot and stem rot for different lengths of time. Keys are to make sure there are no gaps in protection and resistance management is practiced (using the correct fungicide rate, applying the number of applications based on recommendations, alternating sites of action.)

Finally, there is a great deal of overlap between sprays for weeds, insects, and diseases and products we apply to address nutrient deficiencies and manage vine growth. Before you put a host of products in the tank at the same time, ask around and makes sure the products are compatible. We don’t want to get less control than desired, more crop injury than we can stand, and we certainly don’t want to have to discard many acres of pesticides that settled out in the tank and then need replace parts of sprayers.