There have been several reports of stand loss in Alabama and Georgia peanut crops this year. There may be several causes of this loss including seed quality and weather conditions, such as cool wet soils or a heavy rain following planting. Cool temperatures may have caused seed to grow upside down and die whereas heavy rain could have lead to seed rot.
Whatever the cause, these issues have some producers questioning whether they should replant in affected areas. It is not always necessary nor economical to replant. Peanut producers should make their decision on a case-by-case basis. Alabama Extension professionals can help producers determine whether replanting is the correct thing for their stand.
Past Alabama Extension research looking into seeding rates on both dryland and irrigated stands observed that there are no reductions in yield with seeding rates of three seed per foot in a row. However, in the study, there was a slight reduction in yield with a seeding rate of two seeds per foot in a row. The study also found that higher seeding rates may also increase the risk of diseases such as white mold.
The recent bout of warm, wet weather is ideal for the spread of fungal diseases. While peanut crops are still young and not yet at a high risk, it is time for producers to start thinking about fungicide applications.
Regardless of the day a producer starts their spray program (30, 37, 40, or 45 days after planting), it is important to start the production season off right. Producers should assess their field, determine their risk for leaf spot, white mold, and other diseases, and select the appropriate fungicide. Current recommendations for fungicides and rates can be found in the Peanut IPM Guide, IPM-0360
For more information about peanut production issues, contact a member of the Alabama Extension agronomic crops team.