Virginia Peanuts: Maturity Running Much Later Than Last Year

    Rain clouds moving towards maturing peanut field. Photo: Andrew Sawyer, University of Georgia

    This year, peanut is nowhere near where it was last year, from the pod maturity point of view.

    The pictures below show 100% white (immature) pods from Bailey planted on May 14, 2020, and collected on Aug 25. Last year, on Aug 27, pods of Bailey planted on May 3, 2019, ranged from 10% white to 25% brown and black (fully mature), with the majority in yellow and orange mesocarp color denoting substantial progress towards physiological maturity.

    Indeed, in 2019, peanut was planted earlier than this year, but this only explains part of the reason why this year peanuts are maturing later than in 2019. The other part comes from the dry and hot July, when pollination, and growth of pegs and pods were slowed down.

    Tropical storm and other rain events at the end of July benefitted pod development, but maturity is still delayed from the last season.

    I am showing pictures only from Bailey, as the main cultivar grown on 50% of the peanut acreage this year; but we looked at Sullivan, Emery and Wynne as well and they look similar with Bailey.

    This year, we also noticed on all these cultivars a fair amount of Southern corn rootworm and other pod damage, regardless the soil where pod samples were collected at the Tidewater AREC. I will continue updates on peanut maturity every other week.

    Bailey planted May 14, 2020 and pod blasted on Aug 25, 2020

    Bailey planted May 3, 2019 and pod blasted Aug 27, 2019

    Bailey pegs and pods on July 20, 2020.

    Bailey pods with Southern Corn Rootworm and other damage

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