Disease-resistant varieties have revolutionized peanut production, in some cases de-emphasizing the importance some growers place on control measures.

But all of the same diseases are still relevant, and to ignore any one of them would be a mistake.

In looking back over this past year, Auburn University Extension plant pathologist Austin Hagan says extremely high temperatures prompted a resurgence in white mold disease on peanuts.

“We didn’t see a lot of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). But in the past, the disease pressure was so bad that some fields had to be plowed under,” says Hagan. “Just because we didn’t see much last year doesn’t mean it’s gone — it could come back.”

Peanut producers have replaced the once-popular Georgia Green with varieties that have higher levels of resistance to the disease, he says. “We should be in pretty good shape as we shift over to these new varieties. In the Peanut Rx, we assign point values as far as sensitivity or susceptibility to TSWV. Georgia Green is up to 30 total points, and all of the newer varieties look very good.”

Many fungicides are now available for leafspot, and that’s probably the disease growers should be most concerned about, says Hagan.

“Many new products are out there, and they all will control early leafspot — which is the main concern — and late leafspot. There are a lot of alternatives depending on what type of program you want to put together. We have generic products that’ll be relatively inexpensive, generic chlorothalanil and the generic Folicur-type products, and we have the brand-name materials. So there are a broad range of costs out there when you look at leafspot control,” he says.