“We’re not here so much to eliminate leafspot as we are to make more peanuts, and we’re not here so much to eliminate white mold as we are to make more peanuts.”

Kemerait says while he won’t guarantee growers will always have the absolutecleanest fields with Peanut Rx, but in these fields diseases will be managed effectively and profits will be maximized.

“Will all peanut fields have the same pressure? No. In some fields you are farming, you’ll need less disease control and some fields willhave higher risk. If you believe fields need different levels of control, Peanut Rx is an important tool that allows you to predict the risk ineach field.

“We can make predictions today about the potential for disease pressure in July. With accurate predictions we can maximize profits by tailoring our fungicide programs.”

If you know you had cotton in a field the previous year, and you know the field will be conventionally-tilled, then you can already make predictions with regards to the impact of disease in the field in the coming season. This is where Peanut Rx comes into play, says Kemerait.

There are two components to Peanut Rx, with the first being educational or the actual risk index itself. “It’s based on the original TSWV Index, and it’s based upon research and our experience. It’s designed to help every peanut farmer in the Southeastern United States, whether they use a prescription fungicide program or not.  This tool allows you to assess your risk, and it takes only minutes to go through it.

“We continue to improve this index every year with cooperation from researchers and Extension specialists from the University of Georgia, University of Florida, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, and the USDA-ARS.

“Whenever a new cultivar becomes available, and whenever we get new data, we tweak this scale to assess the impact of different factors on disease severity. We work with the various companies that cooperate with Peanut Rx and support it to provide them data on the efficacy of their prescription fungicide programs.”

It’s common knowledge, says Kemerait, that rotation is important and that varieties have different disease resistances.

“The true importance of this index is that it allows us to quantify certain values,” he says. “What’s the value of being five years out of peanuts as opposed to one year out of peanuts? More is better, but this index helps us to quantify that.