North Carolina State University Extension Peanut Specialist Dr. David Jordan says that by 2022 there should be enough seed of the new Bailey II cultivar for most farmers to be able to plant the variety on their farms.
“We will begin to decrease our Baileys and increase our Bailey IIs. By 2022, we hopefully will be able to make a complete transition,” Jordan said at an Extension peanut meeting at the Martin County Farmers’ Market in Williamston.
Bailey is the most popular Virginia-type cultivar grown in the Carolinas and Virginia because of its good yield potential and disease resistance. However, it does not contain high oleic traits now demanded by end users, so Dr. Tom Isleib’s breeding program at North Carolina State developed Bailey II that does contain high oleic chemistry.
High-oleic varieties offer longer shelf life than non-high-oleic peanuts and packagers are requiring suppliers to shift to high-oleic varieties. Jordan says the development of Bailey II is a big marketing plus because it allows farmers to produce Virginia-type cultivars to meet the demand.
Still, he also stressed that farmers do have some good high-oleic varieties in place, including Sullivan and Wynne. And he said the high-oleic variety Emery has a good fit as a Virginia-market type.
Jordan says when farmers switch to Bailey II, they will need to go all in and not plant any Bailey to avoid co-mingling. High oleic cultivars must remain segregated from non-high oleic peanuts.
“You can’t sell something and claim it to be high oleic when its comingled with something that is not high oleic,” he said.
Turning to production advice, Jordan stressed the importance of liming and getting the pH level to six. He pointed to research done at the Peanut Belt Research Station in Lewiston-Woodville that shows farmers can lose 50 to 60 percent of their maximum yield potential when the pH level is at 4.6 or 4.9.
“At 5.2, we are only at 73 percent of our yield potential. To get really close to your maximum yield you need to get to 5.8 or higher. We need to get lime into our systems and make sure our pH levels are where they need to be,” Jordan said. “Lime pays for itself and then some.”
And when it comes to weed control, Jordan emphasized the importance of over-lapping residual herbicides. He stressed that controlling weed escapes later in the season is just as expensive as controlling weeds early and is less effective than applying herbicides up front.
“Intensive weed control early in the season is the best thing to do and to me that means incorporating herbicides having good, strong pre-emergence activity right after you plant. Then make sure you get Gramoxone and Basagran in your weed control programs and add residual herbicides to those,” he said.
Finally, Jordan stressed the importance of management to avoid herbicide resistance. It’s a problem that’s not going away. As he and other weed specialists continually emphasize, spraying weeds when they are small and removing escapes by hand are critical practices for resistant management.
For example, he cautioned that spraying big Palmer amaranth weeds with PPO inhibitors will push you toward resistance. Spraying the recommended rates of herbicides is the best way to go. Residuals up front help you control weeds early in the season.