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storm threat peanut digging decisions Georgia

Storm threat complicates peanut digging decisions

• According to John Beasley, UGA Extension specialist, there are two scenarios to consider when deciding to dig peanuts before the storm, or leave them in the ground until the storm passes.

Pam Knox, University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist, has advised us about the potential of a tropical system bringing 2-3 days of rain over Georgia this coming weekend.

“An area of disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico is in the process of organizing and has become Tropical Storm Karen. The current forecast for the path of this storm is to move over middle or north Georgia sometime between Saturday afternoon and Monday. This will lead to the potential for locally heavy rain.”

Should peanut fields that have reached optimal maturity be dug or left in the ground.?

According to John Beasley, UGA Extension specialist, there are two scenarios to consider.

“First, if a field has minimal disease pressure (defoliation from leaf spots or white mold) and if the soil is dry enough that digging before the rain would result in significant digging losses (especially in heavier, finer textured soils), then it is okay to leave the peanuts in the field until the wet weather passes.

Second, if a field has a higher level of defoliation (approaching or exceeding 50 percent), higher levels of white mold, or a sandier textured soil with adequate moisture for digging with minimal digging losses, then those fields should be dug ahead of the upcoming rain event. However, wait as long as possible and dig just ahead of the rain. This would be in the next day or two.

Keep in mind that if a field has been dug for a few days and the moisture content in the pods has dropped into that 12-18 percent range and then re-hydrated by the rain event, there is a higher risk of Aspergillus flavus mold developing, which could develop into aflatoxin. 

If you have vines and pods dry enough to combine, do so ahead of the rain event. If you have fields that need to be dug ahead of the rain event, do so as close to the actual rain as possible. Rain on freshly dug vines and pods will not hurt the yield or quality potential.”

TAGS: Management
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