Georgia Peanuts: Heat Pushing Maturity Earlier in Some Fields

    Peanut digging underway. Photo: David Wright, University of Florida

    Maturity has been impacted by the extremely hot and dry conditions this year. Remember, two of the main factors that affect maturity are temperature and moisture. In irrigated fields where water has not been limited, the extremely warm temperatures have pushed many of our fields to be ahead of schedule.

    This does not mean every irrigated field is ahead. You can have the same or two different cultivars in the same maturity group planted on the same day in different fields mature at different rates due to soil type differences, rainfall variation, or pest problem differences. Thus far, I have observed Georgia-06G to be ready for digging anywhere from 130 to 145 days old. The earliness may be due to some fields having started blooming earlier than normal due to the heat units.

    The good thing to note in the early maturing samples is there has not been many coal black peanuts. For this reason, I have encouraged some growers to push them a little more to gain more weight and higher grade. This is only a good idea if the vines look healthy and there is minimal disease present.

    The non-irrigated crop has not been as straight forward. The extremely hot and dry conditions have caused havoc all over the state. A large part of the non-irrigated crop has gone through stress, at some point, whether it’s drought, insects, disease, or a combination of all. The only way to handle this type of situation is one field at a time as each field will likely be different.




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