Peanut Acreage For 2012 – It’s All On Paper For The Moment

The projected planted acres for SC as indicated by reports from our growers came in late last week.   If South Carolina growers plant all of the acres suggested by the March 30, 2012 report, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), we will set another planting record of 105,000 acres.  This is a 36% increase from last year.  I am not sure we will plant 105,000 acres of peanuts but it will be up significantly from last year.

What does this mean for South Carolina Producers? When and how are we going to get all of these acres planted? Can we plant early? How many of these acres will be planted in field previously planted to peanut or soybean? How many acres are slated for new ground never planted to peanut? What percentage of your acreage is runner vs. Virginia?

There are many things to consider before we plant this year’s crop:

Can we plant early?

This is a valid question this year due to the increase in acreage and extremely warm conditions we are experiencing so far.  We can plant a little earlier than normal. However,I would not get in too much of a hurry.

The earliest I would plant would be the 3rd week of April unless you are planting green peanuts.  The night time temperatures are still relatively cool and are expected to drop back in the high 40’s the end of next week.

Another thing to remember when planting early is TSWV.  You must plant a resistant Virginia type variety like Bailey, Sugg, and Florida Fancy or any one of top Runner type varieties that has excellent resistance (not immunity) to TSWV along with an insecticide at planting like Thimet 20G.

When and how are we going to get all of these acres planted? What percentage of your acreage is runner vs. virginia?

This is also an interesting and complex question to answer. The past several years growers were encouraged to start planting the 1st to 2ndweek of May and to plant virginia type peanuts first and then the runner type in order to stagger the harvest dates.Now we have seem to have the opportunity to plant in mid-April.

The problem is we only have a select amount seed of TSWV resistant Virginia varieties available and growers seem to hate to stop and wait 2 to 3 weeks to plant other varieties like Champs (moderate resistance to TSWV) to allow the TSWV risk to decline in mid-May.

Is the answer to plant runners in April along with your resistant Virginia varieties?  The short answer is Yes but the long answer is a little more complicated.The reason for planting Virginia varieties first is it allows you to increase your harvest interval between your runners and Virginias.

To mix the plantings of runner and Virginia peanuts in April really narrows your harvest intervals between the April planted runners and May planted Virginia varieties.You will need to really schedule your planting more strategically than you normally would in this situation. Pay attention to the maturity dates of all of the varieties and try to map out a plan before you plant the first seed. A little planning now will save you a headache at harvest.

How many of these acres will be planted in field previously planted to peanut or soybean?

A large increase in peanut acres in South Carolina increases the potential for peanuts to be planted following soybeans and even peanuts in some cases.For these acres, disease management will need to be one of the top priorities for growers.  I am not saying you will need to apply fungicides in-furrow or spray 6 to 7 times during the season but you will definitely be at a higher risk for disease development in these fields.

Knowing the disease history is a plus.Do you have a history of CBR?  I would suggest you or your consultant pay closer attention to these high risk fields. Do not get behind with your fungicide program.

How many acres are slated for new ground never planted to peanut?

With the increase in acreage,  it is likely some peanuts will be planted in fields that have never seen a peanut or have not had a peanut in several years.  In this situation the most import thing to remember is inoculating your peanuts with a liquid Bradyrhizobium inoculant.

Inoculant Rules:

    • Use only liquid in-furrow inoculants.  Granulars & seed treatments are less reliable.
    • Do not expose liquid inoculant to heat.
      • – If inoculant sits in the tank overnight, treat it as water and add a fresh batch.
    • Use a minimum of 5 gal water per acre; 8 gal probably better.
    • Make sure the inoculant stream hits exactly in the center of the open furrow, not the dry furrow walls. Tips knocked out of alignment cause yellow peanuts. Trash caught in strip tillage rigs can deflect the inoculant stream.
    • Don’t plant too shallow (less than 1.5”).  Inoculant must hit moist soil or it will die.
    • Do not use chlorinated water.
    • Apply with a steady stream, not a pulsing pump.
    • Twin rows require a full inoculant rate in each row (on new land).
    • On new land, consider using a backup plan – add a half rate of a different brand liquid inoculant, or add a granular in-furrow inoculant.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding any of the information above.

Scotto Monfort

803-284-3343 ext. 231 (office)
803-284-3684 (fax)
803-335-8531 (mobile)

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