He may need two more fungicide applications for leafspot, depending on weather.

“With high humidity, we may need two late fungicide treatments,” he says. That’s usually one application of Folicur and sometimes an application of Bravo “to finish up.” 

Those last fungicide treatments typically come mid-August through the first 10 days of September. He says Folicur has become a good option. “It’s inexpensive and has a broad spectrum of activity.”

Irrigation timing is typically not an issue for White. “We turn the water on and irrigate as needed,” he says. “Last year started out wet. We got 5 inches of rain right after we planted.”

“Without GPS we wouldn’t have been able to find the rows after the rain,” Gayle says. “But we got a perfect stand — and then we got no more rain. And the wind just blew and blew.”

White says he used center sweeps in his peanuts to keep soil from blowing. “I had never done that before — but we did quite a few things last year that we don’t normally do. And we still made a crop.”

But it wasn’t easy. Yields were about two-thirds of normal production.

“It was a battle from beginning to end,” Gayle says. And the battle was on multiple fronts. “We fought drought, wind, deer and hogs,” she says.

“We did just about everything but give up,” her husband says.

Near constant vigilance kept feral hogs from destroying their peanuts. “It’s been a massive battle with these creatures the last few years,” Gayle says. “We basically slept with the peanuts to keep the hogs out. Someone was in the field just about all night with a light and a gun.”

Their daughter, Whitney Bell, and her husband, Brandon, killed as many as 170 hogs in one field last summer. “Usually, if we can get the peanuts up, hogs don’t bother them,” White says.

The drought may actually have helped thin the hog population a bit last year. “That may be the one good thing about the drought,” White says. “It may have been God’s way of thinning out the population,” Gayle adds. She says the prolonged drought also reduced deer survival. “We saw a lot of abandoned fawns.”

One of those cavorts around their barns and hay bales, a beneficiary of Gayle’s rescue and care. “He thinks he’s one of the dogs,” she says.

They are keeping a close watch on peanut fields this spring and are hoping reduced hog numbers will mean less pressure.