By Dr. Monfort
Good Day Everyone,
How Late Season Temperatures affect peanut maturity and decisions on when to dig:
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, especially if daytime temps are in the 80’s . However, temperatures in the lower 40’s and lower for several mornings in a row will cause the plants to shut down. With this in mind, A good part of Georgia’s growing areas are likely to see several days with the low temps in the upper 30’s to low 40’s the middle part of next week. The question is what do I need to do. The short answer is the crop will likely stop progressing therefore dig them at your convenience after the cold temps/frost event has passed.
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.
Inverted peanuts less than 48 hrs before a frost or freeze — there is a high risk for frost damage.
Inverted greater than 48 hrs before a frost or freeze — less risk of Frost damage. Please contact your county agent of you have any concerns
A grower could go ahead and dig 2-3 days ahead of the low temperatures/frost or wait until after the cold temps have passed and then dig. Either way they should be okay. Other places in the state where temps do not get in the low 40’s and have a frost, they can leave them and let them continue to slowly mature. All of which is really dependent on the health of the vines and disease pressure.