Though peanut producers are still more than two months away from putting peanuts in the ground, there’s still some planning left to do, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort. He emphasized the importance of being prepared while at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show meeting on Jan. 16.
“The main concern right now is budgets, finances; that’s the two biggest things they’ve got to put together. The next thing is securing seed and making sure they get good quality seed. And then start making those critical decisions like, where am I going to plant? Is that going to be in a short rotation? Is it going to be in a good rotation?” Monfort said.
Fortunately for farmers, they experienced cooler temperatures last week, as low as 27 degrees Monday, Jan. 20 and Tuesday, Jan. 21, in Tifton, Georgia, according to www.weather.com. This should have helped knock back some of the insect population. Mild winters, like what the Southeast has experienced so far, allow insects, such as thrips, to overwinter on volunteer peanut plants left in the field. Since thrips spread tomato spotted wilt virus, this will be a huge concern for peanut growers once growing season begins. Potential hot weather this spring and summer will also fuel white mold.
Monfort encourages farmers to attend their county production meetings over the next couple of months.
“Ask questions and get as much information as possible. If they know they’ve got disease problems, make sure they budget for it and they prepare for it,” Monfort said.