As most growers know, the best peanut planting window for highest potential yields is between late April and late May. “A good peanut crop can be grown outside of this planning window, although the risk of reducing yield is greater because of the weather and risk of disease problem,” Tubbs says.
Clean seed tubes, metering units, vacuum systems inoculant tubes, insecticide hoppers and tubes. Calibrate liquid and dry applicators. Check and replace worn parts that may or beck seed placement. Make sure seed meters are applying correct amount of seed, he says.
The soil temperature at four inches needs to be greater than 68 degrees for three consecutive days without risk of a cold front.
Plant at appropriate speeds to allow for more precise placement of seed. As speed increases, planter efficiency and number of seed dropped in furrow both decrease. This leads to increase gaps between plants, which increases tomato spotted wilt risk, especially if planted before May 10, Tubbs writes.
To reduce tomato spotted wilt, plant enough seeds to provide at least four plants per foot of row. Therefore, seeding rates of six seed per foot of row on singles and six to seven combined seed per foot on twins (three to three and a half seed per twin-row furrow) are recommended. Seeding rates also need to be adjusted for percentage of germ of the seed being planted to ensure desired plant population.
Check your planter in each field for adequate down pressure to ensure planting depth. Seed depth is typically 2 to 2.5 inches deep. You can plant shallower with good moisture but risk losing moisture before germination and injury from Valor is increased. Peanut can emerge from depths of up to 3 inches as long as the seed has good germ and vigor.
Planting in sub-par moisture can result in poor germination and erratic emergence causing less than optimum plant population and increased risk of tomato spotted wilt. Peanut seed is too expensive to plant in dry conditions. Planting in dry and hot conditions followed by irrigation with cold water can shock the seed and cause erratic emergence. Irrigate one-third to a half-an-inch and then plant, Tubbs says.
Water pre-plant or at-plant herbicides into soil before peanut emerge to improve weed control. To reduce tomato spotted wilt risk, plant after May 10 and apply phorate for thrips control and use twin-row configuration.
Apply inoculants in fields that have been out of peanuts for more than five years. However, it's a good practice to apply inoculants each year, especially following years of extreme weather like prolonged hot or dry periods or extended waterlogged soils.