By Clint Thompson
Peanut planting is well underway across the Southeast. Whether you are planting a crop in Alabama, Florida or Georgia, there are multiple factors to consider in hopes of producing high yields in the fall. University of Georgia (UGA) has some peanut planting tips.
According to University of Georgia Peanut Production Guide, the ideal planting window extends through late May. However, according to Scott Tubbs, UGA Cropping Systems Agronomist, a productive crop can be grown outside of this window. The risk of reduced yield is greater, though, due to weather and risk of disease.
Proper maintenance on peanut planters is key. Growers need to be mindful to clean seed tubes, metering units, vacuum system, inoculant tubes, insecticide hoppers and tubes. Check and replace worn parts that may affect the placement of the seed. Also, make sure seed meters are applying the correct amount of seed.
The soil temperature at the 4-inch depth needs to be greater than 68 Degrees F for 3 straight days without risk of a cold front after planting. There is concern that seed germination will be impacted for those who planted right before last weekend’s cold front.
As for tractor and planter speed, growers need to plant at appropriate speeds to allow for more precise placement of seed when it goes into the ground. As speed increases, planter efficiency and the number of seed dropped in the furrow decreases. This leads to increased gaps between plants which increases the risk of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV).
To reduce the impact of TSWV, growers need to plant enough seed to provide at least 4 plants per foot of row. Seeding rates of 6 seed per foot on singles and 6 to 7 combined seed per foot on twins (3 to 3.5 seed/ft per twin furrow) are recommended. Seeding rates also need to be adjusted for % germ of the seed being planted to ensure you have the desired plant population.
Make Modifications Now
Before you begin planting each field, check your planter for adequate down pressure to ensure the desired planting depth. UGA Extension Ag Engineer Wes Porter encourages growers to make modifications now to avoid having to replant. Seed depth is typically 2 to 2.5 inches deep. You can plant shallower with good moisture but risk losing moisture before germination and injury from Valor herbicide is increased. Peanut can emerge from depths up to 3 inches if the seed has good germination and vigor.
Planting peanuts in subpar moisture can lead to poor germination and erratic emergence. This will cause less than optimum plant population and increased risk of TSWV. Peanut seed is too expensive to plant in dry conditions. Planting in dry and hot conditions followed by irrigation with cold water can shock the seed and cause erratic emergence. It’s important to irrigate 1/3 to ½-inches and then plant.
For more planting tips, see University of Georgia Peanut Production Guide.