Row Crop Disease Update by: Bob Kemerait
Like they say, “no rest for the weary.” It looked like we were going to be able to get out of this with fairly dry weather and then here comes the potential for a tropical storm. If the path of the storm continues, it should hit sometime late on Wednesday and affect us through Thursday with wind and rain and, depending on how much rain we get, could keep growers out of the field for some period of a day or so to longer.
There is the obvious damage that wind and rain will bring, especially to the cotton crop- lodging cotton and putting lint on the ground. For cotton not yet ready to pick, the weather could increase boll rot, though there is really nothing we can do about that.
For peanuts, the question is timing of digging. It is my opinion that if the vines and pegs are healthy and not too much defoliation from leaf spot or damage from white mold is present, then it is better to leave the peanuts in the ground and to dig them after the storm passes.
If the peanuts are severely affected by leaf spot disease (significant defoliation) or disease (white mold) and the potential for yield loss is severe if they must stay in the ground into next week, then I would consider digging them.
If the crop is already behind in being dug (past harvest maturity) or the soil is “heavy” and digging may be delayed considerably, then I would also think about digging them.
Where peanuts are two or more weeks away from projected digging date, growers should consider whether a final fungicide application for management of leaf spot is needed.