By Scott Monfort
There are several factors that can affect maturity like temperature, moisture, diseases, and
production practices. 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 difference in
soil type, rainfall, or pest problems. Therefore, do not assume that a cultivar will always mature
at its “normal” rate, especially this year with most areas in Georgia being slightly cooler than
normal and having weekly rain events/cloudy weather. The excessive rain this season also
caused growers to have to be more aggressive in their weed control potentially setting their
peanut crop back a week to 10 days.
On the flip side – there is also potential for some fields to be early this year. I have received
several texts and calls on a few fields that looked ready on the maturity board at 130 to 135
days old. I admit these fields surprised me a little with all of the 145 to 150 day maturity board
samples I have seen so far. In these situations, I would suggest taking another sample to make
sure it is correct.
Remember to collect as much information on a field as you are laying the peanuts out on the
maturity board. Knowing the health of the vines, disease levels, etc. is needed to accurately
determine maturity. Keep a maturity clinic log book – It would be helpful for you to keep a
Maturity log of all of the samples you run. This will help you keep track the progression of some
fields over time.
Below are a few questions I always ask growers:
1.) Date planted
3.) Disease/Insect issues
4.) When was the last spray fungicide application?
5.) Peg issues?
6.) Did they have any valor injury or did they apply gramoxone or other herbicides that set
the crop back?
7.) Level of TSWV
Be aware of areas of the field that were extremely wet for prolonged periods of time – There
are fields all over Georgia where prolonged wet periods caused peanut to turn yellow. These
areas never seem to green back up even after the rains have diminished. This is largely due to a
significant decline in root viability or decline. For the most part, the roots and in some cases
pods are rotten. Growers need to try to exclude these areas (if they are bad) instead of mixing
with the good quality peanuts in the field. This does not mean every yellow area will have bad
peanuts — Growers will need to make that distinction as they are dug. The areas I am talking
about are the low lying areas. I am not talking about the normal late season yellowing of the
How does Late Season Temperatures affect peanut maturity and decision on when to dig –
a. Typically, minimum temperatures in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s happen
around the third week of October.
b. Temperatures in the lower 40’s and lower for several mornings in a row will
cause the plants to shut down and further development and maturation is over.
c. There is a misconception that temperatures in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s
shut down the plant. Those temperatures will slow the maturation down but it
will not cause it to stop.
d. The “normal” minimum temperature at Tifton is 61 degrees on October 1st and
51 degrees on November 1st.
e. If there is a risk of a frost/freeze the best thing to do is leave the peanuts in the
ground. They are insulated in the ground.
f. inverted peanuts less than 48 hrs before a frost or freeze — there is a high risk
for frost damage.
g. Inverted greater than 48 hrs before a frost or freeze — less risk of Frost damage.
Please call me if you need any help or have questions.