By Wesley Porter, Extension Precision Ag and Irrigation Specialist, UGA & David Hall, Extension Water Educator, UGA
Similar to May of 2019 which was very hot and dry, we had some very hot and dry weather during May of 2021, dry enough that we had to apply some small irrigation events to our young peanut crop. Luckily, during the first week of June, we started receiving some sporadic rainfall across the state. For the most part, this rain was distributed well, and was timely. Due to the hot and dry periods planting dates have been strung out and, in many areas, and early June peanut plantings will occur. Keep this in mind when you are looking at the water use for your
crop, as a single farm may have peanut maturities spread across a month’s time frame.
Keep track of the graph below or use our Irrigation Reference Guide for Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, and Soybeans | UGA Cooperative Extension in the field throughout the month of June, stay on top of your irrigation requirements. Contact your local Extension office if you need a copy of the irrigation reference guide. If you planted your peanuts during late April or early May, most of these earlier planted peanuts will be beginning to bloom, so expect water usage to gradually increase. Peanuts will begin flowering on average around 40 days after planting.
Remember the water requirement is IRRIGATION and RAINFALL! Also consider irrigation efficiency especially on hot dry days. A typical pivot is 85% efficient, so don’t under-irrigate, but at the same time don’t over-irrigate either as research has shown reductions in yield just as significant for over-irrigating as for under-irrigating. Good record keeping and a sound irrigation scheduling strategy can aid significantly in increasing profitability in multiple ways, including reductions in irrigation applications, correlating to reductions in energy requirements, and potentially increases in yield. For more assistance and information on irrigation, contact your local County Extension Agent.