A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

Most if not all peanuts in the state of Georgia should be planted sometime during late April and into
early- to mid- May. Once the crop is in the ground it’s time to start considering how to manage it, and
specifically how to manage irrigation. There are many irrigation scheduling tools available to producers
from Checkbook methods, to computer models and soil moisture sensors. Depending on your operation
and what your irrigation capabilities are one of these methods may be a better fit than another. The
simplest method is the UGA Checkbook in Figure 1 below. UGA Extension has developed a quick and
easy irrigation scheduling guide that is laminated and contains the four major row crops grown in
Georgia. The guide can be downloaded at Irrigation Reference Guide for Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, and
Soybeans | UGA Cooperative Extension. Peanuts typically do not require a lot of water in the first month
after planting as exhibited by the yellow box and water use curve below. However, if it gets hot and dry
you may need to apply a few small irrigation applications. The yellow box below represents the first five
weeks after planting of peanut water requirements. Keep a track of rainfall and temperature, your
irrigation efficiency (typically around 65-70% for high pressure systems and 80-90% for low pressure
systems), and make irrigation applications accordingly. Keep in mind that the water requirement below
is irrigation plus rainfall, and the weekly water requirement recommendation was developed based on a
historical average of evapotranspiration. So, your actual water/irrigation requirement may vary slightly
based on weather conditions and rainfall during the growing season.
For most of Georgia, we have not received significant rainfall since Mid-April and our soil moisture has
depleted relatively rapidly. There is no significant rainfall predicted through the long-term forecast.
Thus, we need to be planning on pre-irrigating if necessary. The temperature predictions for the first
week of May are getting into the upper 80 to low 90’s. Thus, if it stays hot and dry irrigation will most
likely be needed during the first month after peanut planting. So, don’t fall behind early during the
season. In addition to early season irrigation, due to the depletion of soil moisture from the heat and
lack of rainfall, farmers may need to consider pre- and post- irrigating their fields to aid in promoting
better seed germination during planting. It is advised not to just irrigate after planting into hot dry soils,
as the cooler water may shock the seeds. If irrigation is needed for germination irrigate prior to and
after planting! For a more in-depth irrigation recommendation it is suggested that you look into
implementing either a computer scheduling model either online or via a Smartphone App, or soil
moisture sensors.

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