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Ten recommendations help maintain peanut yield goals

Rex Carr cites 10 essential production practices that help maintain consistent yields and efficient production on White Face Farms. These practices helped Carr produce more than 5,500 pounds per acre in 2004 and earned him the 2005 Peanut Profitability Award for the Southwest.

Practices include:

  1. Rotation. Carr prefers a four-year system with peanuts, cotton and wheat. He says cotton also benefits from having peanuts in the mix.

  2. Break the land. Soil soaks up more moisture when it's plowed, says Carr.

  3. Plant early. Getting an early start helps Carr avoid late-season weather problems. He likes to get peanuts “as big as possible as soon as possible.”

  4. Fertility. Carr treats Spanish peanuts the way he would runners, following a strong base fertility program with anhydrous ammonia side-dressed.

  5. Weed control. Hoe hands and cultivation play a role in Carr's weed control strategy. He uses Prowl as a pre-plant herbicide and may go over-the-top with Select. He likes to be through cultivation before plants begin to peg.

  6. Early harvest. Fall weather on the High Plains can turn bad in a hurry, so Carr likes to get peanuts out as soon as possible. “We have a lot of money on the ground after we dig. I may give up a point or two on grade to get peanuts out of the field.”

  7. Variety selection. Spanish peanut varieties give Carr a jump-start on the season. Early maturity characteristics allow him to harvest as much as two weeks ahead of runner types.

  8. Efficient irrigation. Wobbler units on center pivots provide the most efficient means of watering peanuts but Carr says side-row and drip irrigation also work well.

  9. Pest management. Disease and insect pressure cause few problems, but Carr uses an-in-furrow treatment of Abound to head off early disease problems and relies on a consultant to advise on insect control.

  10. Inoculant. A liquid inoculant gives young peanuts an early boost, Carr says. He likes Lift Optimize, applied in the furrow for thorough coverage.

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