This week was another interesting week in Colquitt County agriculture. Cold weather is in the forecast for next week. The current weather forecast for the Moultrie, GA area is below (October 14, 2022).
Pam Knox, UGA Climatologist, mentions that “While it may be warm and sunny today, a strong cold front over the weekend will bring much cooler temperatures to the state next week. Early forecasts indicate that frost could be widespread in northern Georgia on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, with a hard freeze possible in some locations, especially on Wednesday. Southern Georgia should not be affected. This is about a month earlier than last year, so I wanted to give you a “heads up” so that you can think about any impacts the cold weather might have on your crops. The forecasts will change so keep an eye on them for updated low temperatures.“
The Colquitt County area was getting dry before the rain occurred this week. The newest drought monitor was released on October 13, 2022. Colquitt County is classified as abnormally dry.
Rainfall totals ranged from 1 to 3 inches from the weather system this week. Peanut growers now have to watch the weather before they dig peanuts next week.
How Late Season Temperatures affect peanut maturity and decisions on when to dig
Below are a few words from Dr. Scott Monfort, UGA Peanut Agronomist, on the up coming weather situation and peanut maturity.
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 call me if you need any help or have questions.
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.
Have a great week…
Jeremy M. Kichler
Colquitt County Extension Coordinator