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Peanut farmers in parts of the Southeast are playing catch up after heavy rains over the last 10 days shut down the last of the planting and kept spray rigs parked. Plenty fell from tropical storm Andrea through Florida and into the Atlantic Southeastern states. By one account, this has been one of the wettest periods in South Carolina in the last 8 years. Some localized field flooding was reported in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Other thunderstorm activity added to the effect. Producers are trying to get herbicides out. Weeds already are emerging in many fields. Some pigweed already has been pulled in south Georgia.
Thrips pressure seems to have eased off in parts of the Southeast. Plus, peanuts are quickly adding foliage and growing past damage that thrips caused over the last several weeks.
A little pegging has been noted in south Georgia.
On the western side of the Peanut Belt, conditions remain hot and mostly dry. Plenty of wind has caused sand burn in places. Areas in Oklahoma east of Interstate 35 have decent moisture but conditions are drier to the west. In west Texas, soils are dry due to some triple-digit heat, an extendedlack of rain and periods with near-continuous winds. Pivots need help.
Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist: "Thrips are still a factor on peanuts in places. We’re getting some indications that Thimet seems to be holding up better than seed treatments.”
John Beasley, Georgia Extension Agronomist, Tifton, Georgia: “We got really good rain events throughout Georgia last week, more in some places than others, but even our driest areas received a good soaking. So, we’re off to a better start. The final few acres that still needed to be planted were either taken care of before the rain or people have been hitting them in the last day or two (from 6/13).
“The last few days have been very hot and, combined with all the moisture from the rain, very humid, too, so we’ve really got good growing conditions for peanuts. We’ve had some of the heaviest thrips injury I’ve ever seen. But with all this new growth, peanuts aren’t being effected very much by thrips, and that’s a good sign.
“With all that rain, we’ve absolutely got to watch for weeds. In peanuts I’ve been in this week they’re popping through pretty quickly. Walk fields, identify species and then determine the right herbicide program. Weeds are always easier to control at 2 inches or less, so act fast.
“Very, very few calls about stand problems, another indication we’re off to a good start. Not every field has a perfect stand, but most are at least okay. Our peanuts at 35 days or older are blooming heavily. Those planted more recently have the right conditions for rapid development. With fields around 35 to 40 days, we need to get fungicides out.
“Conditions favor leaf spots. It’s also not out of the question that we could run into early white mold problems. Our plant pathologists stress the need to include something for soil-borne diseases when making those applications for foliar diseases.”
Peter Dotray, Texas Tech University Weed Scientist (joint appointment with Texas A&M AgriLife), Lubbock: “We have some good stands, but some fields could use help with rain and not rely so much on irrigation. I’ve seen exceptional weed control. Sonalan and Prowl are the two key yellow herbicides growers are using. Valor is also helping hold weeds down up to this point. It’s typically good for 4 to 6 weeks of control.
“As Valor starts to break down, some growers are coming across the top with Dual before weeds begin to break. Dual can maintain weed control well into the season and maybe all the way through. If weeds are up, Dual can’t control them. So, farmers need to get the Dual down before the Valor breaks.”
Gary Swords, Swords Consulting, Arlington, Georgia: “Some cracking sprays were suppose to have gone out last week, but it’s been too wet. Thrips have been a factor on everything we’ve got. All the rain lately has really put work on hold. We’ve had 2 inches today (6/10) in spots. A lot of areas lately have had 3 inches, with up to 5 in places.
Management Tip from Chemtura AgroSolutions:
The hardest parts of Integrated Pest Management are knowing that a pest is in the field—and then waiting to see if it is likely to become a problem that will cost more in lost yield than the cost of treatment, note specialists from North Carolina State University Extension.
The watching and waiting is important because many pests never reach damaging levels.
Following an IPM program will help you to know if a pest has crossed the action threshold or whether to continue watching and waiting.
“Besides needing to get herbicides out, we desperately need to finish planting. About 99% of our peanuts have been planted, but very few of my farmers have finished planting everything.. The tropical system (Andrea) barely missed us. Rain we’re getting is unrelated to that. I’m seeing water rolling through the ditches in places. It went from too dry to too wet too fast.”
Tucker Miller, Ind. Consultant, Drew, Mississippi: “Peanuts are up and look a little thrippy. They’ve struggled with the weather, as well, but we haven’t done any thrips applications. We’re probably applying our first herbicide this week. Peanuts have been up about 15 days.”
Brandon Dillard, Regional Agronomist, Geneva, Alabama: “Depending on the area, 80% to 90% of our peanuts have been planted. The oldest are starting to bloom, so some gypsum is going out. Some thrips sprays have been made, but I haven’t seen a whole lot of damage on peanuts in general.
“We were getting dry and a lot of cotton planting had stopped and even some in peanuts. Now we’ve had almost a week of rainy weather.
“One of the big unknowns with peanuts right now is the total number of acres planted, and the big factor clouding that is that so many farmers kept seed instead of buying them from the dealer this year. Not knowing how many acres are out there may, in fact, be one reason buyers have held back on offering contracts. They simply can’t tell how much potential crop is in the field, aside from the fact that they’ve got a lot of peanuts in stock and have limited interest in buying more, anyway.”
Manda Anderson, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Gaines County: “Our stands look decent. We had wind and blowing sand last week, but peanuts hold up a little better than cotton under windy conditions. We didn’t see much leaf damage.
“We definitely need more rainfall, due to the drought circumstances and no available moisture down below. We need more rain to keep center pivots from maxing out. Pivots often aren’t able to pump enough water and get around to all of the peanuts. It’s stressful. And producers are going to keep pumping because they see their neighbors pumping.”
Rome Ethredge, Seminole County, Georgia, Extension Coordinator: “This is the first day (6/10) that I’ve found any pegging, just a very little. So, our peanuts range from just emerged to pegging, which is quite a difference. People are concerned about making fungicide applications as soon as they can. We got less than an inch of rain through all of May, but in the last 10 days it's rained from 3.5 to 4 inches. Where we have any peanuts left to plant, they’ll be behind wheat. A lot of weed control work is underway right now.”
Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Institute for Agricultural Biosciences, Program Support Leader, Ardmore: “We’re in decent shape moisture-wise east of I-35. Fort Cobb got a little rain, but they're still extremely dry in western Oklahoma. I talked to a guy in Erick who said they're living on irrigation water.
“It’s still a little early for disease problems and a lot of guys are starting their post weed-control program. A few grasshoppers are showing up in pastures. That’s something to watch for. If those pastures dry up, grasshoppers could move into peanuts for sure.
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“It’s probably a hair too early for most of our guys to begin nitrogen applications. We don’t nodulate as well in hot, sandy soils. And when you push these yields, it takes extra N. A lot of guys split up the applications for more uniform distribution.”
Justin Tuggle, CropDocs.Com, Plains, Texas:, Consulting in Gaines, Yoakum, Terry and Dawson Counties: “This already has been a tough year. On May 2 and May 3 the lows were between 28 and 31 and today, June 13, it’s 101. How's that for an extreme difference? The wind has blown every day between those two points, and we’ve got a lot of sand burn in places.
“Most everything has emerged. Our peanuts range from the 2- to 4-leaf stage to some with a 6-inch-wide canopy. I’ve yet to see any runners. When it came down to it, contracts offered for Valencias, Spanish and Virginia types were better. Growers who’ve grown runners for 20 years switched to another type.
“Everything considered, peanuts still look pretty good. They’re maybe 10 days behind but are getting good heat units now. Everybody is well set and at the beginning of the year they paired their irrigation capacity for the acreage they planted. Here we are at the beginning of the fourth year of drought.”
David L. Wright, Florida Extension Agronomist, Quincy, Florida: "Peanuts are mostly planted and the early fields look good. We’ve got a lot of thrips right now in cotton and peanuts. The rain is bringing out some weeds, plus the at-planting herbicides are about gone, so people are going in with herbicides.
“Peanuts are blooming. I haven’t seen any pegging yet, but it should be right on us. Fungicides have started on early planted peanuts. Some people are into their second application. We’re not seeing much disease, just thrips damage from early on. A small number of treatments were made for thrips. If it was dry and peanuts couldn’t be irrigated, some applications went out. With rain, though, the plants tend to outgrow them.
“Thrips pressure this year was intense. Here on the station the plots that had no protection sustained a lot of damage. But after rains last week, they’re growing well and should outgrow a lot of the damage.”
Scott Monfort, Clemson University Extension Peanut Specialist, Blackville, South Carolina: “People are trying to apply herbicides, but we’ll have some weed problems as a result of not being able to clean things up on time due to rain.
“Thrips pressure is declining but is still there in places. New growth is coming out, so that’s also a good indication that the pressure is subsiding some. We had a pretty rough month with thrips starting in May and into early June. I’m not aware of any control issues where Thimet was used. A small percentage of fields were sprayed, either where people already expected to come in with Orthene if necessary, where there might have been some application problems with Thimet or where Cruiser seed treatments were used.
“A little landplaster is going out and some of the older peanuts might have gotten their first fungicide.”
Ames Herbert, Virginia Extension Entomologist: "Thrips season is over for cotton. With the recent rains and hot weather, most plants are growing into the 4- to 5-leaf stage and past the time when thrips can do economic damage. Peanuts are still under some pressure, and I think we are going to see one more week of pretty heavy pressure (from 6/13). The insecticide seed treatment provided good protection early in the infestation cycle but needed a foliar overspray to carry through to the end."
Southern Grain Farmers Dealing With Bugs And Floods – AgFax 6-13
Southeast Cotton: Pest Situation In Flux – AgFax 6-12
USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices 6-12
Palmer Amaranth – Pigweed Hitchhikes to Michigan 6-12
Southwest Cotton: Thrips, Fleahoppers, Verde Plant Bugs – AgFax 6-11
Florida Cotton: Challenge of Palmer Amaranth Control, Part II 6-11
Florida Cotton: Challenge of Palmer Amaranth Control, Part I 6-11
New Mexico: Corn 77% Planted, Peanuts 65% 6-11
South Carolina: Early Spider Mites 6-13
Texas: Rains Help, but Drought Maintains Stubborn Hold 6-11
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