Georgia Peanuts: Planting into Dry Soils

Photo: Andrew Sawyer, University of Georgia

We have been planting peanuts and cotton for two weeks now, and it is really getting dry and dusty. Our moisture moving down further below the surface. With cotton we can plant into dry soil and wait for a rain, but peanuts are different. Here is a few situations and questions that UGA Extension Peanut Agronomist Dr. Scott Monfort helps answer dryland verses irrigated situations as well as inoculants:

Can we plant peanuts in dry soil? We don’t want to put peanuts in dry soil, unless we are 100% we are getting rain the next day. And that we cannot say right now.

For DRYLAND peanuts, if we are planting into moisture, how DEEP can we plant? We can chase moisture down to about 3 inches. We don’t need to go deeper than this, especially with 06G. Between 2 3/4 to 3 inches is how far we should go. You want some moisture above the seed.

For IRRIGATED peanuts, do we run the pivot before or after we plant? If we had NO moisture, in a perfect situation, we should put out a 1/2 inch of irrigation. Let it sit a day. Then come back and plant with herbicides. Then irrigate another couple of tenths to activate herbicides.

One situation we see is if we are bone dry, and we plant peanuts in no moisture in 80 degree soil with herbicides and put out irrigation following, we can sometimes have a little shock to that seed from a deep well. This can cause erratic germination and some seedling problems. There is moisture out there, and if we plant into a little moisture then irrigate from a deep well, we likely won’t see this kind of shock.

Does this dry soil affect our inoculants? If we are planting a field that needs liquid inoculant, we will lose the viability of that inoculant in this dry, hot soil. Anytime we put out inoculant in unseasonable conditions, we can get problems.


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