What is in this article?:
- Organic peanut production not for the faint hearted
- Best weed control practices
• Even in a good year, organic production is risky.
• Weed control is the major limiting factor in organic farm production, especially in peanuts.
Best weed control practices
For cultural weed control in organic production, he advices the following:
• Use conventional-tillage production systems.
• Plant disease-resistant varieties and high-quality seed.
• Order non-treated seed in early winter from regional seed suppliers.
• Plant peanuts in May when soil temperature and moisture are ideal. Avoid planting when soils are too cool or too hot.
• Plant peanuts in 36-inch rows, with six to eight seed per foot. Seed should be placed two to 2.5 inches deep in sandy soils.
• Optimum and uniform stands are a necessity. Replant or supplement plant to achieve uniform, non-skippy stands.
For mechanical weed control, a tine weeder is the implement of choice, says Johnson. Growers should cultivate with the tine weeder three to four days after planting, prior to peanut emergence.
Cultivation should be on at least a weekly basis for six to eight weeks, periodically substituting with sweep cultivation if broadleaf weeds are present.
Organic producers should consider hand-weeding as supplemental or secondary to cultural controls and cultivation. Hand-weeding should be done primarily to control escapes, he says.
If cultural controls and cultivation have been effective, hand-weeding will be minimized, says Johnson.
University of Georgia Extension specialists and researchers continue to showcase how various peanut cultivars respond to single and twin-row patterns at the Expo.
“Row pattern research on peanuts has been going on for a long time,” says John Beasley, UGA Extension peanut specialist. “We looked at the older cultivars like Florunner back in the 1970s, and since the mid-1980s, we’ve tested every cultivar for a response to twin and single-row patterns.”
The beauty of it, says Beasley, is that peanut breeding programs in the Southeast are turning out outstanding cultivars. “Whenever a cultivar is released, we test it for row-pattern, plant population, planting date, and all the other factors that we need to test,” he says.
In the Expo trial, researchers continue to look at twin versus single-row peanuts.
“Last year, we averaged just below 5,900 pounds per acre at this site. We had eight cultivars, planted in single versus twin rows. Averaged over the cultivars, there was 10 pounds difference in twin versus single rows.
“You might say twin rows just don’t work anymore, but last year we had outstanding growing conditions and the single-row pattern took advantage of that. We see that from time to time, and we still believe strongly in the impact of the twin-row pattern and the advantages it offers in certain situations.”
This year, two cultivars were dropped and two were added to the test. “For the first time since 1999, we do not have Georgia Green in our trial — not only here but in any of our trials. It’s a cultivar of the past even though it was the standard for several years. We also dropped AT-4. We added GA-10T and FloRun 107,” says Beasley.