Digging has been going on for a few weeks in Thomas County. Our acreage is mostly dryland and mostly almost all 06G variety. This is our third week scraping peanuts. Until this week, many samples were running 130 – 140 days. That is sooner than last year and the year before. Some fields with less rain are not moving and pushing into the 140s. Peanuts need both heat and moisture to mature. We have seen it drop in temperature since the last week of August and supposed to be cooler this weekend.
I’ve seen much less “split” profiles this season. This happens when the peanut crop goes through a period of no rainfall. This makes the digging decision more difficult – going with the current crop or waiting on the next. Our profiles have been more consistent like this one below.
Another thing we check for is peanuts turning lose in the hull. This is when the funiculus detaches from the peanut kernel breaks away from the pod and thus the plant. Once the peanut has ‘turned loose’, it no longer matures. We need it to stay attached to continue feeding and gain weight. It will detach through normal maturity OR when under stress. Many of our dryland fields have been under stress, and high percentages of peanuts turning loose also makes our digging decision more difficult. Seminole County Agent Rome Ethredge made a good blog post on Funiculus explaining this works.
Here is some more information from UGA Extension Peanut Agronomist Dr. Scott Monfort on current peanut maturity:
Based on our own Hull-Scrape Maturity Profiles on some of our research trials (GA-06G) and feedback from many county agents, the early to middle of April and Early May planted fields are tracking around 140 days after planting (DAP) time frame. This is not surprising but many growers have commented that we are ahead of schedule due to the heat. We are not that much ahead, if any. Most of the other cultivars like GA-12Y, GA-13M, and the TUFRunner Cultivars are looking more in the 145-155 range.
Here are other factors to consider when determining optimum digging time:
- Is the sample representative of the field?
- How many acres does sample represent?
- What is Variety/Planting Date?
- Irrigated/Non-Irrigated. If Non-Irrigated, have you received adequate rain etc.
- What do the vines look like?
- Any disease/TSWV?
- Make sure to open pods and look at the peanuts. How many are coming loose?
Do not forget the Non-Irrigated Acres! Pull samples from the non – irrigated acres in the 110 to 130 day old range. We have seen several non-irrigated fields that received good rains early but no rain in the last 3 to 4 weeks and they are ready to go. Some peanuts are beginning to come loose in the shell in these fields due to the lack of rain.