Drought in the southern end of South Carolina’s peanut belt and excessive moisture in the northern end of the belt created planting problems of different kinds, but led to an extended planting season that ran from mid-April until mid-June.

The same conditions that delayed or played havoc with activation of herbicides also caused early season weed control and delayed gypsum application on many acres of Virginia type peanuts in the region.

“Fortunately, Mother Nature came through for growers and allowed most of them to get back in the field and slowly catch up,” Monfort says.

Especially in South Carolina, there was no uniformity in planting dates because weather conditions varied so greatly from the south end to the north end of the peanut belt.

Regardless of when peanuts were planted, the challenge will be to keep the crop well managed until harvest time, and then to get peanuts out of the ground quickly and efficiently.

One factor to remember on late-planted, large kernel peanuts is to be sure inoculants worked properly. Monfort says at 45-60 days after planting a grower can determine whether he has an inoculant failure.

An average of 15 large nodules per taproot at 45-60 days after planting is considered good. Less than 10 per taproot is marginal and less than five indicates poor inoculation.

North Carolina State University Peanut Specialist David Jordan says there have been plenty of questions this season about how much yield will be lost when peanuts are planted later than usual.

Jordan says, “Peanuts planted in early May versus late May essentially yield the same if they are taken care of and dug based on optimum maturity (3,869 vs. 3,836 pounds per acre, respectively). These data are from three years of tests at Lewiston, N.C., with the varieties Champs (early maturing) and Perry (late maturing),” Jordan adds.

However, Jordan says for growers forced to plant peanuts later than they planned, there is a risk of significant yield reduction.

In the same tests conducted at the North Carolina Peanut Belt Research Station in Lewiston, Jordan says there was a big drop in yield from May 22, to June 8 (3,836 vs. 2,992 pounds per acre).