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Anticipating Disease Management For 2014 Peanut Crop

Nematode-infected-2

Even though we are still a ways off from planting peanuts, it’s never to early to begin to prepare for disease management for the upcoming season. Dr.  Bob Kemerait, UGA Plant Pathologist, gives us a few pointers on disease control for the upcoming peanut crop.

These include:

  • Based  upon predicted climate and subsequent weather patterns, growers can begin to  anticipate which diseases may be more important or less important this  season.  For example, the winter weather  of 2013-2014 is much more severe than was the winter of 2012-2013.  The extreme cold weather that has occurred  should have a positive impact for the growers on the peanut root-knot nematode  as compared to last year.  Cold soils  throughout this winter season will insure that possibility for any increase in  soil population is small.
  • Anticipating weather conditions during the early  part of the season will help growers in the decision to deploy an in-furrow use  of Proline for CBR management if there is a significant risk to early-season  white mold outbreaks.  Cooler soils early  in the season create more favorable conditions for infection of the young root  system by the fungus that causes CBR; hence the grower is more likely to find  benefit from the in-furrow fungicide application.  However, when temperatures are warm early in  the season, especially if they are warmer than normal, the advantage to use an  early-emergence banded application becomes more important.  Typically our growers are banding with  Proline (5.7 fl oz/A); however use of Abound is also labeled.
  • Agents and growers can follow climate  predictions by using the website developed by the Southeast Climate Consortium  at www.agroclimate.org.
  • The 2014 Peanut Rx disease risk is available in  our 2014 Peanut Update and from other sources.   Peanut Rx is most effective when used before the first seed is planted  and when production management decisions can still be adjusted in order to  reduce risk to disease.  Growers who  consider the impact of such factors as variety selection, crop rotation,  planting date, row pattern, seeding rate, tillage, irrigation, and field  history on the potential for disease in a field in the coming season can  accomplish two things.  First, the grower  can make changes in his production practices that can reduce the overall risk  to disease.  Such decisions could include  plating a more-resistant variety, choosing a later (or earlier) planting date,  and re-thinking when to plant peanuts in a particularly disease-prone field  again.  Second, based upon anticipated  risk the grower can develop a prescription fungicide program that included both  the specific fungicides and timing of application most effective for the coming  season.
  • If a grower plans to use Telone II for nematode  control or Vapam soil fumigant for management of CBR, now is the time to insure  that product is available and that equipment is in working order.

So even though we are still a month and a half to 2 months away from palnting it is certainly not too  early to begin planning for disease and nematode management programs in  2014.  Most important are use of Peanut  Rx to anticipate and reduced risk to disease and attention to projected climate  conditions that could affect disease onset and benefits of different fungicide  application strategies.

For more information please contact your local Extension Agent.