Faced with drought and low prices the past two years, southwestern peanut growers are ready to rebound in 2014. Information presented on disease and weed control, new varieties and other production practices at the recent Oklahoma Peanut Expo armed them with better insight heading into the 2014 campaign. Here are a few highlights:
“I wouldn’t plant one acre of irrigated peanuts without a yellow herbicide,” said Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University agronomist, Ardmore Ag Biosciences Program.
He said yellows can help produce a clean start in an integrated herbicide program needed to combat weed resistance that’s easing its way into Oklahoma and Texas production areas.
Constant resistance management is imperative. “Even if you’re doing a good job of managing resistance on your farm, you can have it blow in” from weed seeds budding on neighboring fields, he said.
“Soil bank weed seed” can yield pigweed or horseweed from crops past. “Even if you obtain 99% control of pigweed in a field that had 145 weeds per acre, the remaining seed can explode to 3,000 plants per acre the following year,” Baughman said.
“Think about the herbicide program you use in crops rotated with peanuts. Think residuals, residuals, residuals when selecting herbicides.”
Baughman encouraged farmers not to depend heavily on a single herbicide that works best on their land. Find alternate chemistries with different modes of action and sites of action to help head off resistance issues.
“I’d hate to lose herbicides that work best,” he said, noting the difficulty in obtaining clearance for use of new weed killers. “It would now be almost impossible to get a label for 2,4-D or Atrazine,” he said.
Dealing with Disease
“You can’t cure a diseased plant,” said John Damicone, OSU plant pathologist. “If you wait until you see leaf spot, it can get you into trouble.” He stressed the need for good fungicide/seed selection programs in managing peanut diseases.
Pod rot is causing problems for some Oklahoma growers, Damicone said, noting that pod rot is more of a problem in Virginia varieties. So good disease control is vital, since Virginias can generate better return per acre.
When dealing with Sclerotinia blight, he recommends treatment as soon as disease presence is discovered.
Improved disease resistance is seen in a new OSU-USDA high oleic Spanish variety, Ole. It is likely to be popular in the southwestern production region, said Kelly Anderson, USDA-ARS plant breeder in Stillwater, Okla. In comparison to the Olin variety during six years of trials, she said Ole had these results:
• 400 lbs. more yield per acre.
• $60 more revenue per acre.
• Good pod rot and Sclerotinia blight resistance.
• High oleic (20:1 O/L ratio) and high seed size.
The new variety is expected to be available for 2015 planting through the Oklahoma Foundation Seed Stocks.