Below are a few words from Scott Monfort, UGA Peanut Agronomist, about peanut harvest and the upcoming cold weather this weekend.
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.
The “normal” minimum temperature at Tifton is 61 degrees on October 1st and 51 degrees on November 1st.
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.
Typically, minimum temperatures in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s happen around the third week of October.
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. The northern growing areas are likely to see several days in the 30’s and low 40’s the end of the week and first part of next week. In these areas the peanuts may not mature further. The question is what do I need to do?
If you are in these areas, 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 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.