Peanut Production: Growers Be Wary of Early-Season Disease Pressure

Clint Thompson Peanuts

By Clint Thompson

Dry conditions across the Southeast does not guarantee a lack of disease pressure in newly planted peanuts. That’s why growers should be diligent in their fungicide applications to make sure their crop is fully protected, says Wilson Faircloth, agronomic service representative with Syngenta.

Wilson Faircloth

“I think it’s too early to troubleshoot exactly what this season’s going to be like, but I still think growers need to prepare for a typical disease season where we see white mold and leaf spot. Only if it’s really dry through the month of June can we really begin to think how this may affect and change our disease management,” Faircloth said.

“The first thing they can do is put an in-furrow fungicide in with their seed. A lot of them are using Velum which has a nematicide in it that they need, but a lot of people add Abound to that. Abound is a very good broad-spectrum fungicide you can put in the furrow and get your plants off to a good start. It won’t make bad seed good, but it will make good seed better. That’s a good way to start right now; think about what you’re putting in the ground and treating it well. It’s true, what you put in is what you get out.”

Early-Season Applications Important

Faircloth implores producers to apply their fungicides early in the season.

“The other thing I would advise growers is make every effort to get that first fungicide spray on at 30 to 40 days (after planting) to at least get your foundation set. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on that first trip across the field,” Faircloth said. “But get a fungicide that covers both white mold and leaf spot or a tank mix of two that will get those on the field at that 30-to-40-day mark in case there’s bad weather.

“We had the problem (last year) of growers who couldn’t get to the field. They planted the crop and never came back until, some of them, 65 days after planting. They were behind the eight ball.”

Extreme weather conditions either way can lead to disease build-up early in the season.

“I think white mold and leaf spot can both come at different times. It really just depends on what the weather gives us. If it’s fairly wet, then we’ll see early leaf spot. We can see it quite early at 30 or 40 days (after planting),” Faircloth said. “Two years ago, we saw some white mold at 40 and 50 days, because it was very hot and a little bit on the drier side. It just depends on what the weather gives us.”