Peanut planting will begin soon in Georgia. University of Georgia (UGA) Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort hopes not too soon, however, considering the cool nights still being experienced throughout the state.
“The biggest thing is conditions. I know everybody’s chomping at the bit right now to start planting, and we’ve got at least one more week where we’re dropping down in temperatures and our overall temps are going to drop on down at 50s at night and below 70s during the week. It’ll bring that soil temperature back down,” Monfort said. “Don’t be in a rush to put peanuts in the ground for the next week at least. After that, we’re going to warm up and be good to go.”
Monfort said ideal conditions are 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the top four inches of the soil for three straight days.
“That’s a good average temperature when you take nights and days and go from there. They can look at the UGA weather systems and see what the soil temps are. That’s an easy way to do it for the last three days or so,” Monfort said.
There is a small caveat. Those farmers who have dryland fields, or those without access to irrigation, might want to take advantage of the moisture in the field if the opportunity presents itself.
“If you’ve got moisture on dryland and you don’t think you’re going to get a rain and you want to make use of that moisture, then you might go a little bit early. We’re going to be hedging around that 65-degree mark,” Monfort said. “If you had to plant, use the best information that you’ve got and try only to plant what’s needed. Dryland would probably be the place I would start.”
About half of Georgia’s peanut acreage is produced on dryland fields.