As Alabama peanut producers moved into September, average yield potential was holding steady at 3,100 pounds per acre, an improvement over last year’s average of 3,000 pounds.

As of mid-September, 13 percent of the state’s crop was rated in fair condition, 79 percent was good, and 7 percent was rated as being in excellent conditions.

Plentiful rainfall in the state this season has caused a few serious issues with white mold disease, but overall, disease pressure has been contained as most growers have stayed on a good schedule for controlling early and late leafspot, says Austin Hagan, Auburn University Extension plant pathologist.

“I’d like to say I was responsible for getting rid of tomato spotted wilt virus, but it went away on its own. We haven’t had a lot of problems with it in recent years. Improved varieties all have a certain amount of resistance to TSWV,” said Hagan during the East Alabama Crops Tour held in late August.

As for insect pests, Alabama peanut producers saw one this year they’re not accustomed to dealing with — the aphid.

“We talk about aphids in other crops, but we normally never worry about aphids in peanuts,” says Ayanava Majumdar, Auburn University Extension entomologist, known as “Dr. A.”

“But in some parts of the state where weather conditions started off dry, and where soils were sandy, we saw aphids feeding on pegs.”

The species, he says, was the cowpea aphid. “You really have to look closely for this pest,” says Dr. A. “I have not seen it on the pods, but they will disfigure the peg. You may see some on very sandy soils. They are black insects with white legs, so they’re different from the cotton aphid.”