Skip to Content

Everything You Need to Know About Planting Peanuts

We have received many questions over the past few days about planting peanuts. I know the warm weather has us all wanting to get started, but it’s not time yet. Below I’ve compiled everything that needs to be taken into consideration when preparing to plant your peanut crop. As always, if you have any questions please contact either Ronnie or Myself at the Dooly County Extension office.


Planting Recommendations (Scott Monfort and Scott Tubbs)

The beginning of the planting season is just a few weeks away. There are many things to consider and get ready before first seed goes in the ground. One of the first questions we get is “how early can I plant?” Based on the recommendation, the soil temperature at the 4 inch depth needs to be at least 68 degrees with no chance of a cold front within the next week after planting.   Typically, this happens in the later part of April to first part of May.  So what do you do when soil temperatures are in the high 60’s in the first part of April? Just Say No!   Please keep your seed in the bag until the latter part of April.   There is no need to be in a hurry to plant Peanuts.

Even with soil temperatures are warm enough for plating in early April in 2014 in SW Georgia, the average 4 in. soil temperature from April 16-20 was 61.3 F.  In Tifton, GA the date on the calendar meeting the recommended planting conditions without a subsequent drop in soil temperature was May 5 (2014), May 9 (2013), April 27 (2012), April 21 (2011), and May 1 (2010) over the last five growing seasons.  Thus, please be cautioned about putting seed in the ground too early.  The chances for cooler temperatures to occur as the month of April progresses remain high historically until late in the month, which is a threat to establishing optimum plant stands.

Take the time to perform maintenance on planters and sprayers to hopefully eliminate problems when planting begins. Start thinking about early season weed management, inoculants, early season disease management – CBR vs. White mold.

Preparing for Planting (R.S. Tubbs)

When we prepare for planting research plots, we have to be ready to go when the time comes – projects like planting dates require precise timing and we cannot afford undue delays or we might lose the desired effect we are trying to test.  It is similar on the farm that when it is time to go, things must be in order to prevent delays that might not allow all of a grower’s acreage to be planted in the optimum planting timeframe, thus costing money for yield declines from a late-planted crop.

In the past, we have had a number of things needing attention as we checked our equipment to prepare for planting.  In one case, we had a mouse crawl down the neck of our seed hopper and form a “nest” in the metering box, between the cover and the seed plate.  In another instance, paper was found lodged at the base of the drop tube where granular insecticides release into the furrow.  We have had rocks lodge between the double-disk openers, tubes fail preventing appropriate pressure from the vacuum, and simple memory lapse where seed plates, scrapers, meter covers, and depth adjustment were not performed for peanut after last use from either corn or cotton planting.  All of these things require time and attention prior to filling the seed hopper with the first peanut seed of the season.  Some things require calibration, such as insecticide hoppers, spray tanks for inoculants, or other in-furrow applications as well.  Applying these products requires attention to be sure they will be both effective, and legal.  Not calibrating can potentially result in over-application above the labeled rate, which is illegal and could lead to toxicity issues, or under-application could result in ineffective rates being applied and the potential for pests to develop resistance to the control product.

Be sure to also check calibration of seed drop in the furrow.  This is something commonly overlooked, under the assumption that the planter is planting at the seeding rate for which the gearing is set.  The plate may be spinning at the appropriate speed, but it is only planting the correct seeding rate if every hole on the plate has a seed adhering to it.  If suction from the vacuum is too low, or the equipment is traveling at a high rate of speed in the field, the chances of skips on the plate to occur is greatly enhanced, which can greatly reduce the desired seeding rate to sub-optimum levels even if you had 100% germination of the seed placed in the ground.  However, considering there are a plethora of factors that can reduce germination percentage once the seed reach the ground, we want to be sure we are accurately placing the appropriate and desired number of seed in the furrow as much as possible.

There are many variables in play once seed are in the hoppers and the tractor is in operation.  Take the opportunity to make sure it is all in good working condition so planting can be done as efficiently as possible once the optimum planting window and planting conditions are reached.

Early Water Requirements for Peanuts (Wesley Porter)

We have been getting continual ample rainfall, and with the exception of a few days, we have had a relatively warm spring thus far, pushing soil temperatures warmer and warmer.  If both of these trends continue we will be ready to get peanuts in the ground by late March.  Hopefully, unlike last year, we will have enough soil moisture but not too much.  Remember last year we had too many rainfall events around planting time which caused many farmer’s to have peanuts planted a few weeks apart leading to large differences in maturity and water requirements throughout the season.  Before you plant is also a good time to go through your irrigation system and give a check for any problems.  Make sure it is ready to go before you get your crop in the ground and need irrigation, breakdowns during the season can be catastrophic if it is hot and dry!

Below is the water use curve for peanuts, go ahead and get used to seeing this, as I will be sending it out with each update!  This update we are going to focus on the first few weeks after planting, or basically the last few weeks of April into May.  Like most crops, peanuts do not require much water early, so do not over water them after planting.  During week 1 they require only 0.07 inches of water!  This is probably already available in the soil unless we’ve had a very dry spell just before planting.  This goes up to 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 inches for weeks 2, 3, and 4 respectively.  Still very little water required!  Overwatering can hurt just as much as under-watering.  Remember this requirement is IRRIGATION and RAINFALL!  Irrigation may not even be required in the first few weeks!


Disease and Nematode Considerations at Planting (Kemerait)

As with most crops, to include peanut, once the furrow is closed and the seed is planted, there is very little that can be done to protect the crop from nematodes, short of replanting.  Fields affected by the peanut root-knot nematode can be planted to a resistant variety like ‘Tifguard’ and there may be limited seed of the new nematode-resistant variety ‘Georiga-14N’.  From the registration for Georgia-14N, it is reported that, “‘Georgia-14N’ (Reg. No. CV-126, PI 674169) is a new high-yielding, high-oleic, Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)–resistant, root-knot nematode (RKN) [Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood race 1]–resistant, small-seeded, runner-type peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. subsp. hypogaea var. hypogaea) cultivar that was released by the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station in 2014.”

For fields where there is a significant threat from nematodes and a resistant variety is not planted, fumigation with Telone II, typically 7-14 days ahead of planting, is without equal and is very effective in protecting the peanut plant.  VELUM Total, a new product from Bayer CropScience will be available in limited quantities in 2015.  Velum Total is a liquid-in-furrow product for management of thrips and nematodes affecting cotton and peanut; the rate for use on peanut is 18 fl oz/A.  Velum Total should not be expected to provide additional control for seedling diseases; however it can be mixed with liquid inoculants.  In research conducted in Georgia, Velum Total has looked as good, or better, than at-plant applications of Temik in many trials for management of nematodes.  The bottom line is that growers must protect their crop against nematodes before closing the furrow, or suffer irreversible consequences for the remainder of the season.

Current field conditions are such that many growers are anxious to begin planting peanuts.  In addition to concerns about soil moisture and soil temperature when planting in April, growers must also consider the potential impact of early planting dates on risk to tomato spotted wilt virus.  Based upon Peanut Rx, we believe that growers can plant prior to May 1st without undue concern for losses to tomato spotted wilt IF they plant a peanut variety with good resistance (e.g., Georgia-06G and other varieties with 10 points or fewer risk points, see Peanut Rx) and also deploy other practices to reduce risk to this disease.  For example, for growers planting peanut prior to May 1st, I would recommend not only a more-resistant variety, but also use of Thimet 20G as opposed to other materials to manage thrips.  Please consult Peanut Rx to better understand all practices that can reduce risk to TSWV and other diseases as well.

Entomology Peanut Pointers (Mark Abney)

The weather is warming up, and soon peanut seed will be going into the ground. After two seasons of relatively heavy and late thrips pressure in Georgia, it is understandable that growers are asking questions about thrips management options for 2015. The most common questions I have gotten recently involve the use of imidacloprid (Admire Pro or a generic formulation) as a liquid in-furrow at plant. Here are a few options for growers in 2015 and some points to remember as decisions are being made.

1. Phorate (Thimet 20G) in furrow: Thimet has been around for a long time, and we have years (decades really) of data that show Thimet does a good job of reducing thrips injury and that it can also reduce the incidence of tomato spotted wilt virus. Thimet is an organophosphate insecticide, and as with all pesticides, growers should read and follow label instructions carefully. Some phytotoxicity (aka “Thimet burn”) is commonly observed when Thimet is applied to peanut, but this injury has not been associated with lost productivity.

2. Thiamethoxam (CruiserMaxx Peanut) seed treatment: Thiamethoxam is the active ingredient in CruiserMaxx Peanut seed treatment. In some research trials and grower fields in 2013 and 2014 we saw elevated thrips damage on CruiserMaxx treated peanut where pest pressure was high. Growers should be aware that thimethoxam on the seed is not expected to give control of thrips beyond 21 days after planting. This can lead to problems when thrips migrations occur later than normal. We do notrecommend an automatic foliar insecticide application at 21 days after planting, but we highly recommend that growers scout their fields for the presence of immature thrips around 15 days after planting. Thiamethoxam does not reduce the risk of tomato spotted wilt in peanut.

3. Imidacloprid (Admire Pro, Velum Total, various generics) liquid in-furrow: Imidacloprid applied as a liquid in the furrow at planting has given good control of thrips  in trials at UGA and other Southeastern universities in recent years. Imidacloprid has been shown to be compatible with most liquid inoculants and fungicides (not all combinations of products have been tested). Like thiamethoxam, imidacloprid will not reduce the risk of tomato spotted wilt in peanut. Growers should also take careful note of the formulation of the product they plan to use as rates vary by formulation. Applying a 2F product at a 4F product rate will result in significantly less active ingredient than the label recommendation. Velum Total contains both imidacloprid and an active ingredient targeting nematodes. Growers who want to use imidacloprid for thrips but who do not have a nematode problem do not need to invest in the additional AI, but should choose a stand alone imidacloprid product (e.g. Admire Pro).

4. Acephate (Orthene) foliar spray: Orthene will still kill thrips, and we use it regularly in GA when at-plant insecticides “run out of steam”. The problem associated with leaving off an at-plant application in favor of a foliar spray alone is timing. This approach requires careful scouting (something that is much less common on our peanut acreage than it should be) and the ability to get into the field on short notice to make an application. Given the hectic schedule of most growers in the spring and the potential for unfavorable weather, being able to cover large acreage with a foliar application is a gamble most growers should avoid.

No matter what thrips management tactic is chosen, scouting is still a good idea. Nothing provides 100% control 100% of the time, and the only way to know if a problem is developing is to monitor fields regularly. Price of inputs will be an important factor in decision making in 2015. We need to be sure not to cut labeled rates in an effort to save money…reduced rates will likely lead to reduced efficacy and can ultimately cost more in supplemental treatments and/or lost productivity. Another thing to consider is that peanuts planted before 10 May are at an increased risk for tomato spotted wilt virus; none of the insecticides registered for thips control in peanut will reduce the risk of the disease except Thimet.