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Peanut Disease Outlook for September

kemerait peanuts

For much of the Nochaway area, we have received record rainfall for the months of June through August which have caused some delays on timely fungicide applications.    This combined with current weather conditions can make for a ‘September to Remember,’ with disease outbreaks.  Dr. Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension Plant Pathologist, advises that we stay vigilant with regard to our fungicide programs especially for white mold and late leaf spot, so we don’t remember this September as the year we lost yield to disease.  Bob and I agree that we should remember September for the good baseball games and not because of something we can manage to avoid.  I am including an excerpt from an email we got from Dr. Kemerait about his thoughts on disease pressures for September.

As we enter the month of September, growers are preparing for harvest and planning to finish up their disease management programs.  For a number of reasons I believe that growers should remain vigilant for protection of their crop from diseases, especially white mold and leaf spot.  NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BECOME COMPLACENT IN DISEASE MANAGEMENT! Now is the time to insure use of appropriate fungicides for white mold and leaf spot through the end of the season.  My reasons include:

  1.  From Attapulgus to Midville I am finding leaf spot and white mold developing aggressively in our research plots.
  2. Conditions throughout the season have likely provided the” fuel” for disease outbreaks and current temperatures could be the “match” that ignites white mold and leaf spot.
  3. Underground white mold has been reported in a number of fields; this disease can pass without detection by the grower until harvest.  Managing underground white mold is always difficult.  Our best options for improved management include a) irrigation or rainfall within 8 hours after fungicide applications and b) applying fungicides at night.
  4. Cooler temperatures may delay maturity of the peanut crop, keeping the peanuts in the field longer and further exposing them to risk of disease.
  5. September is a key month for hurricanes and tropical storms, both of which can increase risk to disease, delay fungicide applications and delay harvest.

If you have questions specific to your crop, please contact your local extension agent.