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Study points to flexibility in peanut seeding rates

By Austin Hagan

Seed accounts for up to 20 percent of the total variable production cost for peanut

Research suggests that peanut producers could have some flexibility in seeding rates, thereby reducing their overall costs.

producers, especially for larger-seeded cultivars such as Georgia-06. One option for saving money is to reduce seeding rates, but can this be done without negatively impacting yields?


In trials conducted at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in 2014, 2015 and 2016, researchers looked at the impact of seeding rates of three, four, six, and eight seeds per row foot as influenced by planting date on the incidence of tomato spotted wilt virus, or TSW, and white mold, leaf spot defoliation and yield of commercial peanut varieties Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B, and Georgia-12Y in a dryland production system.


Planting date had the greatest impact on peanut yield. In two of the three study years, yields were greater in peanuts planted in mid-April (first date of planting) than those planted in mid-May (second date of planting), regardless of the variety.


Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B and Georgia-12Y had similar yields, except in the latter variety in 2016, when a sharp yield decline was noted at the second date of planting. No yield gains were seen by increasing seeding rates. The lack of a variety and seeding rate interaction showed that the absence of a seeding rate response was consistent across all varieties.


In a previous Alabama study, seeding rate had a limited impact on the yield of commercial peanut varieties in an irrigated production system. Year (i.e., rainfall) had a sizable impact on yield. With good rainfall through much of September, yields averaged 5,660 pounds per acre in 2016, as compared with drier late-summer and early-fall weather patterns in 2014 and 2015, when the mean yield was 2,454 pounds per acre and 3,217, respectively.


Despite low pressure for tomato spotted wilt, leaf spot and white mold, planting date, variety and seeding rate alone or in combination significantly impacted disease activity. While TSW incidence was often similar across planting dates and varieties, in 2016, greater disease was seen in the April-planted Georgia-09B than in the May planting.


Previously, incidence of this disease was also greater in April- than May-planted peanuts. Elevated TSW levels recorded at the lowest seeding rate is also consistent with the results of previous studies. Leaf spot defoliation—which was greater in two of three years in the May- versus April-planted Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B and Georgia-12Y—also intensified slightly but significantly with increasing seeding rates in the May- but not the April-planted peanuts.


When noticeable white mold development was seen in 2015, disease incidence was greater in April-planted Georgia-06G, Georgia-09B, and to a lesser extent, Georgia-12Y varieties than in the May peanuts. Otherwise, white mold damage, regardless of planting date, was low in 2014 and 2016. Overall, white mold incidence was lower in Georgia-12Y than the other two varieties.


Results of this and a previous Alabama study suggest that growers have some flexibility with seeding rates in dryland and irrigated production settings. Even under drier conditions in 2014 and 2015, yield was similar across all seeding rates for all three peanut varieties. None of the varieties screened showed a significant yield advantage, despite differences in disease damage.


The full report can be found here.


The funding for this project is made possible by checkoff dollars from the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and the National Peanut Board.


Austin Hagan is a professor in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and a plant pathologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.



The 18th Annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference will be held July 21-23, 2016 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach, Florida. The three-day event Sandestin logoprovides farmers with information peanut production, legislative issues, marketing and promotions. In addition to the conference sessions, the event focuses on the family by offering a ladies program and a golf 2016 SPGC OFFICIAL Logo_spot colors for TSHIRTS.pdftournament.

Information about the conference and sponsorship opportunities is available by contacting the Alabama Peanut Producers Association at 334-792-6482 or email

To View Conference Info
Sponsorship Packet
Printable Registration form
Register Online
Online Resort Reservations
Call Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort at 1-800-622-1038 and ask for the Southern Peanut Growers Conf. Rate to make reservations.

APPA hosts food allergy seminar

APPA hosts food allergy seminar

Feeding thousands of children each day is a job Alabama school lunch workers take seriously. Providing those workers with facts about food allergies was the topic of a seminar hosted by the Alabama Peanut Producers Association March 15. Final slider 1
The Alabama Food Service and Nutrition Expo in Montgomery attracted hundreds of food service workers from around the state and provided a perfect opportunity for APPA to share its message, said APPA Executive Director Caleb Bristow.

“America’s peanut farmers, including the 1,400 in Alabama, care deeply about food allergies,” Bristow said. “That’s why peanut farmers have directed the National Peanut Board to give more than $12 million toward funding food allergy research, education and outreach since its inception.”

The APPA brought in registered dietician nutritionist consultant for the National Peanut Board Sherry Coleman Collins to speak to food service workers at the expo. She said food allergies are frequently misdiagnosed.

“Many people mistakenly think they have a food allergy,” Collins said. “Truthfully, only about 0.6 percent of Americans have a peanut allergy, so more than 99 percent of Americans can enjoy peanuts without any problem. Some people think just being around peanuts can cause a life-threatening reaction, but research has shown anaphylaxis is caused by ingestion, not inhalation or skin contact.”

Collins works with schools nationwide to help them develop comprehensive food allergy management plans that help keep kids with food allergies safer, while allowing those without allergies to enjoy nutritious foods, including peanut butter.

“Peanuts and peanut butter provide a nutritious, versatile, and delicious option for feeding children of all ages, and it’s affordable which, is so important during these trying economic times.”

Collins said schools could provide an excellent opportunity for children who have food allergies to learn to manage their conditions with the help and supervision of responsible, knowledgeable adults.

“Peanuts are considered one of the top eight food allergens, so it’s important to America’s peanut farmers that they are part of the solution,” Collins said.

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