The peanut crop continues to improve with a majority of the state receiving rain over the last few weeks. This is more moisture than South Carolina Producers have seen going into August in a few years. The latest acreage report for peanut has put South Carolina above and beyond our initial projections. South Carolina producers have planted just under 105,000 acres of runner and Virginia type peanuts. The split between Virginia and runner types is roughly 60:40. What a remarkable change from just a few years ago.
What are we seeing in the field? As mentioned earlier, the crop continues to improve with most acres in full bloom and beginning to produce a promising root crop. As a result of the increased moisture, canopies are actively growing and are very dense inviting disease and insects to develop and feed on the lush crop. This is something I have noticed first hand this week. Both white mold and foliage feeders (corn ear worm, loopers, etc) are on the rise. With this in mind, I would suggest growers make a scouting trip through your fields weekly to ensure a pest problem has not begun to develop. Try to go by the Clemson’s recommendations (Peanut Money Maker — http://www.clemson.edu/extension/rowcrops/peanuts/index.html) for insect and disease management which include damage thresholds and preferred fungicides/insecticides. Use of the wrong chemistry or spraying at the wrong time on a select pest will ultimately cost you more in the long run due to reduced control and potential loss in yield. I would also suggest growers make sure fungicide programs come close to matching Clemson’s recommendations. I have seen several recommended programs that go above and beyond our best programs in price per acre but not necessarily in overall control of the disease. Give me a call if you have questions regarding our recommendations.
Another thing to keep in the back of your mind is harvest. There are several acres of Baileys planted in late April and Early May which means they are 95 to 110 days old. We may want to start looking at maturity by the end of the month. Give your county agent a call to arrange maturity clinics. Clemson purchased new pod blasting equipment for each of our agents to use this year so they could better serve you this fall.
Feel free to give me a call —803-335-8531. I would be happy to help in any way.
Peanut Field Days — Dates to remember
PeeDee Field Day —- August 21, 2012
Peanut /Corn Field Day — Edisto REC —- September 6, 2012