Producers Make Plans for Planting Peanuts

AUBURN, Ala.—As extreme drought continues to plague much of the state, producers are making plans for the 2017 planting season.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialists have a resource for producers who are struggling with decisions as they head into the next planting season.

The Climate and Crops iBook is packed with tips and tricks to manage the upcoming La Nina cycle of the El Nino Southern Oscillation. Spring 2016 posed problems in the field, but farmers may be looking at warm, dry conditions this time around.

Climate Adaptation Strategies for Peanut Production

Dr. Brenda Ortiz, a precision agriculture specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System said cover crop planting and germination can be adversely affected by dry soils.

“This may result in poor stands and reduce cover crop biomass,” she said. “Growers should consider irrigation toe ensure a good cover crop stand. They should also peanutsconsider increasing the seeding rate on cover crops to offset the adverse effects on germination.”

Increased nematode populations may occur during the following crop season, especially if these conditions continue into winter and spring. In cases where peanuts are planted after peanuts or other crops susceptible to root-knot nematodes, growers should select a nematode-resistant variety or consider additional nematicide applications before the next crop planting.

Producers are advised to avoid planting cover crops with known susceptibility to nematodes. Be sure to select nonhost or nematode-resistant cover crops. This is especially critical during warm winters.

If insect host plants are located near the crop fields, warmer fall temperatures will increase the risk of additional insect generations and, thus, higher populations of some pest species.

While overwintering insects are prone to mortality, higher overwintering populations could contribute to increased pest pressure the following spring. In the face of uncertain insect pressure, growers should implement routine, systematic insect monitoring or scouting of peanut fields.

“Under warmer and drier fall conditions, weeds are less responsive to herbicide applications applied to winter crops, such as wheat and canola,” Ortiz said. “In dryland peanut crops, activation of soil herbicides will be more difficult if these conditions last until peanut planting.”

If soil herbicides are not properly activated, weeds may quickly germinate when moisture is available. This will add more pressure to post-herbicide applications.

Growers should irrigate, if possible, and consider incorporating soil herbicides before planting peanuts to reduce surface photo-degradation and to increase herbicide efficacy.

Extension’s Climate and Crops iBook

Learn more about Climate and Crops, Alabama Extension’s newest iBook, at

Climate and Crops focuses on the Southeast’s five major row crops: corn, cotton, peanut, soybean and wheat. It features multiple interactive options, including 17 videos, 33 interactive graphics and hundreds of images related to problematic insects, diseases and weeds.

Climate and Crops is a comprehensive resource not only for farmers, crop consultants and Cooperative Extension.

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