Heavy rainfall, along with long stretches of cool, cloudy weather, left a non-uniform maturing peanut crop that will need some special attention.

Peanuts look promising and most contend samples show a good crop, but until the peanuts are dug, picked and run through the scales no one will really know how much damage this year’s crop suffered from standing in water through much of June and July.

“That’s the big unknown — what effect did standing in water for so long have on what’s below the surface.

“If you look at peanuts across North Carolina, they look good, but the effect of the rainfall is a big unknown,” says North Carolina State Peanut Specialist David Jordan.

“I think we will have a good crop this year. I’m guessing, and it’s mostly a guess, that growers will end up producing 3,500-3,600 pounds per acre, Jordan adds.

That estimate may actually be low, he says. “There will be lots of soggy peanuts that will lose yield, but exactly how much yield we will lose and what we end up with will depend a great deal on what kind of weather we get throughout the harvest season,” he adds.

North Carolina State University Plant Pathologist Barbara Shew says the record rainfall likely contributed to a number of ‘mystery diseases’ that came through her lab this year.

“I’ve gotten several plant samples with disease symptoms that look a little bit like one thing, a bit like another disease, and it’s hard to know whether the excessive rainfall masked the symptoms of one disease or created new symptoms from commonly occurring diseases,” she says.

“I think some of the yellowing and other disease problems that growers are seeing are mostly physiological symptom caused by weather related issues. “However, I’m paying special attention to all these mystery diseases, because we have to be sure we are not dealing with something new that growers will see in future years, when weather isn’t so much of an issue,” she adds.