Peanut Producers Be Mindful of Potential Disease Development

Clint Thompson Peanuts

File photo shows white mold disease in peanuts.

By Clint Thompson

Peanut harvests are under way across the Southeast. But growers should still be mindful of potential diseases that could impact the crop amid the increased rainfall this month.

Wilson Faircloth, agronomic service representative with Syngenta, stresses that producers have come too far to have their crop be overtaken by diseases like white mold and leaf spot.

“You’ve got a lot at risk in this point in the game. You’ve invested in the crop and invested your time and energy and dollars, so you don’t want to let something like leaf spot come in and defoliate your crop right here at the end. It could cause you to have to dig them earlier than you intended which can leave yield on the table,” Faircloth said. “It’s the same with white mold. You don’t want to come in and let white mold take a last-minute grab at your peanuts. If it compromises your plants, then it compromises your yield. There’s a lot of reasons to keep things strong right here at the end.

“We’re seeing some white mold, but unless the temperature really elevates, I don’t expect it to worsen quite as much. The greater threat is leaf spot, especially late leaf spot. It thrives under slightly cooler temperatures, say high 80s or low 90s and high moisture conditions. When we’re running 80% or 90% humidity to well after lunch every day, that’s problematic for leaf spot development.”

Syngenta features various products for growers to consider at this point in the season.

“Some fields may still be getting some Miravis and Elatus at 90 days, but a lot of fields are past that. Both are preventative for white mold and leaf spot. Fields that have had those products out are looking very good,” Faircloth added. “One product to think about going forward is Alto, which is a good curative leaf spot material. Another good feature of Alto is it’s very good on peanut rust, and we are finding some peanut rust around in Georgia and down in Florida. We’re not in panic mode, but that is a disease we keep an eye on when it begins to pop up. That’s another product we want to keep on the forefront of growers’ minds as we finish out the season.”