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.
- 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.