Kris Balkcom, our resident Peanut Agronomist and Extension Specialist, gives his insights on how the our peanut crop is shaping up so far.
Following warm temperatures in March, no one could have predicted the cool temperatures experienced in late April and early May. We were prepared to start back planting peanuts earlier after our weather experiences the past couple of years. However, the weather gives us unexpected challenges. We were ready this year knowing ahead of time we could face some seed quality issues. The cooler temperatures with the wet conditions early took a toll on some of the earlier planted crop. Hopefully, we will get an adequate stand with us sowing back in a few more seed. Not everyone had seed problems, and overall, the crop looks pretty good.
We have seen some thrips pressure this year, but at this point in the season, I don’t feel like it is as bad as what we experienced last year. My hope is we will dodge the tomato-spotted wilt virus (TSWV) from the thrips with some of the fields where we had stand issues. Our research has proven to us over the years that we can still make respectable yields with these weaker stands even though they are not perfect if we can avoid the TSWV.
We missed some rains during the first part of May not allowing us to incorporate some of our herbicides, but the crop is reasonably clean for now. Continue to keep scouting your fields, and get those few weeds sprayed before they get too big to kill. I know the prices are still too low which makes you hesitate on using some inputs. Don’t cut yourself too short by not using something that could make you money in the long run.
We have to continue to spray fungicides even though we feel they are too expensive for our commodity price. Sometimes we don’t spray white mold materials early enough. It is a great time to spray them while the peanut plants are smaller. This allows you to band spray the product on, save money, and still provide protection from the diseases. You still need to spray it later in the season to provide protection, but by spraying early we can be ahead of the disease and, as mentioned before, save money. I pray everyone makes a fantastic crop this year, and I hope to see you around.
Kris Balkcom is a extension specialist with Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University. He works out of the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland, Alabama.