April 15th is the earliest recommended start date for peanut planting in South Georgia. Our current weather conditions have given farmers pause. For peanuts to emerge successfully the 4 inch soil temperature has to be 68 degrees for at least 3 days followed by an expected warming trend. According to the local Vidalia Weather station the 4 inch temperature has averaged 67 degrees over the last three days. The forecast shows warmer weather expected next week. So get those planters ready and roll when the sun comes out.
With commodity prices dropping and considerations of our new Farm Bill, many farmers have shortened their peanut rotations. Shorter rotations (3 years away from a legume crop is recommended) will mean bigger issues with leaf spot diseases, soil borne diseases and nematodes. Use Peanut Rx to predict your level of risk on each field. You can use sheets provided from various chemical companies, use your UGA Peanut Update book or download the app for your smartphone. Deep turning fields with shorter rotation will help reduce disease. Using fungicides in-furrow or banded spray applications early need to be considered as well. Growers will need to understand that shortening rotation and limiting inputs will not turn out well.