“We’ve spent a lot of time convincing growers that if you want to make top yields and stay in business, you need a good fungicide program. And sometimes it’s hard to let go of something that has worked for you.”

Peanut Rx allows growers to go through each of the categories with their fields and come up with a point total or risk, says Kemerait. Then, they can make choices based on that total.

In 2012, Georgia Green was rated at 30 points and Tifguard was at 10 points on TSWV. This means that Georgia Green is three times more susceptible to TSWV than Tifguard.

Also, Georgia-06G is twice as susceptible to white mold as Georgia-07W.

“There’s a difference in 10 points between the varieties and that’s the difference of one year of rotation. By planting a white-mold-resistant variety, you have flexibility in the other categories to maintain the same risk.

“If you plant Georgia-07W instead of Georgia-06G, the effect on white mold will help offset the negative impact of a shorter rotation. You don’t want that, but that’s what it makes up for. You can transfer those points.”

While there’s nothing in the index that assigns points to the amount of rainfall received or the lack of rainfall, Kemerait says growers should follow their common sense when it comes to this factor.

“Rainfall increases disease. If your weather situation is changing and significant rain is forecast as in a tropical storm, tighten up. This index has never failed us in a commercial field, but if a tropical storm is coming in, use your common sense. If weather stays warm, you have to look out for nematodes, thrips and white mold.”

Kemerait says he want growers to use the right combination of fungicides that make the most money.

“Spending the least amount of money up front on a fungicide program might not make you the most amount of money in the end.

“Tebuconazole will be very popular this year, but just remember it doesn’t solve all your problems. If you have decided that you’re going to spray seven times on a 14-day schedule come hell or high water, then you don’t need the index.

“Prescription fungicide programs can make you money if you calculate your risks and determine the right timing. The goal is to have an adequate fungicide program and maintain disease control.

“You won’t win a beauty contest with leafspot control every year, but you’ll have good-enough control. The goal is to maintain yields and maximize profits.

“If you do your risk index and find you’re at a low risk, you can spray fewer times.”

The updated 2013 Peanut Rx can be found in the Georgia Peanut Production Guide at:

http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/peanuts/documents/2013UGAPeanutProductionGuide.pdf.

phollis@farmpress.com