September 15th Hertford Peanut Pod Blasting

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peanut digging

See Hertford County Peanut Maturity Samples for images from peanut maturity samples taken on 9/7 (Valencia’s), 9/12, and 9/15. If you’re not on our peanut text list, contact our office at 252-358-7822 to be added. A text will be sent out next week when the next pod blasting clinic is scheduled.

Leaf Spot Control Program

Be on the lookout for late leaf spot as we move closer to digging. We know that when an epidemic starts it expands quickly. If you have 10% of the canopy with lesions this week, it will likely be 20% next week and then 40% followed by 80% over the following two weeks. Defoliation and pod shed is not far behind and that is where we get yield loss. If leaf spot gets away, it’s recommended to dig at 40% defoliation regardless of pod maturity. Chlorothalonil gives us a lot of protection late in the season as we build on our earlier sprays. If stem rot is present, a mix of chlorothalonil and tebuconazole will be needed. Keep in mind that infection occurs before we see lesions. If you get to 20% of the canopy with lesions, it is likely that 60% of the canopy is already infected and our fungicides are primarily protectants with very limited curative action. Find a leaf spot control options with this fungicide information guide.

Dr. Jordan Peanut Digging Notes

Research has shown that each mph above 2 mph, can result in loss during digging of at least 200 pounds per acre, even during good digging conditions. In a recent trial in NC, if you jumped from 2.6 mph to 4.0 mph, yield decreased from 6,520 pounds to 5,735 pounds per acre. Going faster is not the best solution to getting peanuts dug in a timely manner. Greater digging capacity is captured in more equipment and the people to run it. At 2.5 mph, we can make the assumption of covering 25 acres with a 4-row digger and 33 acres with a 6-row digger per 10-hour workday. We also assume a 6-row self-propelled combine can pick 20 acres a day driving at 1.5 mph for a 10-hour workday depending upon morning dew. Digging peanuts when they are mature is important, with the caveat that we cannot dig them all on the same day. Unfortunately, our Virginia market types reach optimum maturity on the same day (Bailey II, Emery, and Sullivan when planted on the same day and grown under the same conditions). A three-week difference in planting in May translates into about a week’s difference in optimum maturity in the fall. If looking at pod color to determine maturity, pods with brown mesocarp color weigh about 95% of pods with black mesocarp color. Pods in the orange or rust fraction weigh about 75% of pods with black color. Yellow pods weigh about half as much as the most mature pods. If we are early in our digging, we will sacrifice in yield and quality (about 5-8% of yield potential if dug a week early). It takes 7-10 days to move through each color category on the profile board. Also remember we need 72 hours to pass after we dig and before a frost/freeze event. Some interesting information on irrigating dry/hard soil before digging was also discussed. Soils with light sand does not offer formidable resistance, but soils with increased clay can make digging more difficult. In a trial last year, Bailey II planted in a clay-sand field had two comparisons of digging without pre-irrigation and digging after applying 0.25” irrigation. While this was just one year of data, they found a difference of 270 lb/A on the yield for the plots that received the 0.25” of irrigation. Minus the cost of irrigation itself, with a contract price of $465/ton, this translated to a savings of about $62/A.