The dryer weather couldn’t have come at a better time. But without any rainfall for the past 10 days or so many areas need a little moisture now. Here is some info from Dr. Wes Porter, UGA Irrigation Specialist, on early season irrigation for peanuts.
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. Based on what I’ve heard from around most people have gotten their peanuts into the ground sometime between early to late April. With this said, we have had a few cooler nights that have dropped soil temperatures down below the optimum level. This could have caused a reduction in emergence.
However, early May has brought some very good weather for both planting and emergence. We have had adequate rainfall and enough dry periods to get planting completed. Ideally we will continue to keep getting some ample rainfall and ideal weather throughout the month of May. If you have not had the opportunity to get your peanuts in the ground the first two weeks of May have produced optimum conditions. 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 up to the first month of planting, based on when the peanuts were planted, i.e. early April or late April. If the peanuts were planted in early April we are moving into 4-8 weeks after planting or requiring anywhere from 0.3 to 0.9 inches per week. If the peanuts were planted in late April or early 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 range goes from 0.07 up to 0.3 inches across the four weeks. Still very little water required early, but we start requiring significant amounts around weeks 7 to 10. 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!