Monthly Archives: August 2017

Hull Scraping Peanuts: Looking For A Starting Point

With a good crop and a lot of acres, this year will likely resemble 2012. We officially got started with peanut hull scrapes today. There was nothing ready sooner than 14 days. I only looked at 1 irrigated sample, and you would think they were all irrigated. We looked at samples of peanuts that we scraped weeks ago, and some were sprouting then. We haven’t had rain on these much since then, and those peanuts I believe have pretty much shut down.. If we have a 1/5 inch rain, that won’t be a big deal, but much more than that will be an issue. The issue in the west part of the county is that we need a little rain before we start digging. The east side of the county is getting rain through August.


06G Maturity

Something we need to think about is the trend in 06G’s the past five years. They are listed as a medium maturing at 130 to 140 days. But we are seeing the 06G grade being higher as we push 150 days. Everything I’ve seen, along with many other agents, is o6G’s going 140, 145, and 150 at this time. Remember, there are factors that will set the peanuts behind a week or so that have occurred throughout our crop this year: 1) Valor injury, 2) germination issues / slow emergence 3) bad stands 4) gramoxone at-cracking sprays. Any of these events will knock peanuts back a week and a half. So that normal 134 day quickly turns into 145 assuming normal progressgion. With so much rain this season, this explains why we DON’T go by days after planting.

We’re seeing more normal progression of the crop with no split crops in our dryland fields.

Peanut Profiles

Our profiles are looking good, with much fewer if any split crops. Again, this is another reason to lets make sure we get these mature and get some good grades. In some dryland fields, we are definitely seeing where half the peanut will be yellow and the other half black. This is sometimes a characteristic of dryland peanuts, indicating off-and-on rain. We still judge the peanut by the darkest color on the profile board.

Dryland peanuts

There are some peanuts turning loose in the hull, but not terrible. Still, this is a cause for us to pull the trigger soon in these fields. It’s a difficult call because each week too early can be 200 – 300 lb yield loss.

Still our biggest issue is the number of acres we have and finding and starting point.

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Peanuts Getting Close

Peanut profile on August 7. Peanuts were planted on April 12, putting them at 117 days.

We are passing 120 days on our early peanut crop, and will start hull scraping soon. We’ve done a few hull scrapes and found we are still a few weeks away – even with rain and high temperatures. Based on the average days to maturity of the last few years (140 – 150), we actually have a few more weeks where we can add some weight to the crop. This means we need to make sure we stay on our fungicide programs and watch insesects. UGA Extension Specialists Dr. Scott Tubbs has good information on what we should expect:

A harvestable peanut typically needs at least 40-50 days of development after initiation to gain enough weight for yield. It has been common for the majority of the peanut crop to reach optimum maturity between the 140-150 days in recent years in Georgia. Therefore, a fertilized bloom or developing peg at the 100 day after planting point in the season should theoretically “make it into the basket”. Anything that initiates after that point is questionable unless the crop is pushed late for digging, which can then start to cause losses of the earliest formed pods either from deteriorating peg strength or germination of the seed in the hull if its funiculus has detached from the hull.

Using Aug. 8 as a reference point, any peanut planted on April 30 or earlier will have reached the 100 day point, and will be at the critical point for increasing any additional pod set that could become harvestable. Essentially, the early planted crop is already set. For peanuts planted in the month of May, there is roughly the equivalent number of days left to set additional pods in the crop as the date of planting in the month. For instance, if you planted on May 14, then you would have about 14 more days to set additional pods that could become harvestable by the end of the season. Everything beyond that 100 day old point becomes a matter of maintaining the maximum yield potential by filling the pods that have already established.

Weather conditions in central Georgia show favorable chances for continued rain, which is overall good for the crop. However, it can cause delays in timeliness of applications for weeds, insects, and diseases issues. At least for the next few weeks, take advantage of good operating conditions in the field when you have them to get herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide applications out.

However, if your crop has been challenged up to this point in the season, the good news is that there is still time to make up for it and produce harvestable pods if you planted in the month of May. Watch maturity profiles closely, especially when you get past 120 days , and don’t be afraid to push those peanuts later (beyond 145 days) if the maturity profile calls for it and the overall vegetative conditions (vines, leaves, and pegs) are relatively healthy.

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Controlling Dogfennel In Pastures

We are starting to look at late summer pastures weeds. Yesterday, we looked at dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) and mint in a Bahia pasture that is two years old. Dogfennel is normally considered to be unsightly, but research has shone that yield loss can occur in bahiagrass if dogfennel is not controlled before mid-summer. Cows don’t normally eat dogfennel, but will when forage is low in qyaility. Dogfennel has a toxin which can make cattle dehydrated.

Dogfennel bolting in Bahia pasture


The biggest thing with controlling dogfennel is timing or really height. It can grow from overwintering rosettes. Seeds will also germinate and sprout at 65 degree soil temperature. Though a lot about it’s biology is known, treating based on heigh is more recommended.


2,4-D and dicamba do good on dogfennel, but we obviously cannot use from most of April through the fall. In Florida, dogfennel growth will start sooner. For us, germination will occur in late April, after we put out our Weedmaster application. During the summer months, Pasturegard (fluroxypyr + triclopyr) is another option for us. The rate depends on height. When dogfennel is < 36″ tall, use 1 pt / A. When dogfennel are > 36″ tall, use 1.5 pt / A. This rate is effective on large dogfennel, even 5 ft tall.

More of this information can be found at Dogfennel: Biology and Control


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Temperature & Rainfall Expectations

What should we expect for the next three months? UGA Extension Climatologist Pam Knox has this update:

This has been a beautiful summer, with seasonal temperatures and even some cooler conditions as a couple of cold fronts have passed through the area. Rainfall in most areas has been plentiful, but the high pressure center which has dominated the Southeast recently has meant some fields need rain or are drinking up irrigation.

The current weather pattern – which is causing record high temperatures on the West Coast – is expected to continue for at least the next few weeks. That means seasonal temperatures and more frequent but spotty showers are expected to continue, leading to hit-or-miss conditions in fields across the Southeast. We are also watching the tropics heat up, and with above-normal sea surface temperatures and neutral ENSO conditions, I expect to see more tropical storms forming in the next few weeks as we approach the heart of the season. Of course we can’t predict where those storms will go, so there is no counting on tropical rainfall to help provide water. Temperatures are likely to go back to warmer conditions after mid-August.

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Pecans: Black Aphids & Mites

Reports here are that black aphids are out but numbers are not necessarily high yet.

UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Will Hudson has this INSECT update for us:

Black Aphid damage

Black Aphids

Growers across the state are seeing an increase in black aphids. For growers with old Schley trees this has been going on for a while, but the other susceptible varieties like Sumner and Gloria Grande are experiencing a build-up now.  Remember, if you see nymph clusters you need to take steps to protect your foliage and avoid the kind of damage that can affect your crop next year.  Imidacloprid still controls black aphids pretty well, but requires the higher rate on the label (several formulations are available; the 2 lb materials need 5.6 oz/acre).  Other neonicotinyls like Belay and Assail are also effective.  If you also have yellow aphids then Carbine, or Fulfill would control both. Closer is one of the most effective options at the moment.

Mite damage on pecan leaf


We are also seeing some mite flare-ups in scattered orchards. Mites can be controlled with abamectin products (Agri-Mek, Abba Plus, etc.), Portal, Acramite, or Nexter.  The Nexter will get both aphids and mites, and may be a good choice where those pests are present and a weevil spray is needed or likely. Check labels for rates and surfactant requirements.

Insecticide Rainfast?

Dodging showers can be a challenge if you need to treat lots of acres with few sprayers, and sometimes the rain catches you or pops up right after application. If it starts to rain while you are spraying, stop the sprayer.  It will do little good to apply an insecticide (or fungicide) that will be washed off immediately.  If the rain comes after you finish, you may be okay if the spray has dried on the leaves.  A good rule of thumb is that if you get a rain within 1 hour or less of spraying and you will need to retreat.”

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Filed under Entomology, Pecans

Row Crop Disease Update

In cotton this week checking whiteflies, we are reaching treatable thresholds by the way… I am also seeing some target spot in RANK cotton. Also, it is very low on the plant and is not moving up. Cotton I’ve looked at is 4th and 5th week of bloom. Below is a current disease update from UGA Extension Pathologist Dr. Bob Kemerait:


The current weather is very favorable for development of target spot and also spread of bacterial blight.  To date, bacterial blight is only a problem in susceptible varieties…The season is not over yet, and things could change.

Target Spot seen in ‘rank’, irrigated cotton, but on the very lower leaves.

TARGET SPOT:  In some, but not all, of your trials  target spot is a significant issue. From your trials, some varieties are CLEARLY for susceptible. Conditions we have now are perfect for it.  Should every grower spray every field for target spot?  NO!  But growers SHOULD BE AWARE. In one field, target spot was becoming established, and I told him I would likely treat the field with a fungicide. In another field, no target spot was found and I told him I would not treat that field.


We are at a critical point in the peanut season. Reports of white mold in fields are coming in every day and I am receiving some reports of leaf spot. I don’t know of any fields where leaf spot is “out of control” and only one field where white mold is “breaking loose”.  However, both diseases can be explosive given the right environment and time to become established. Growers should stay on an appropriate fungicide program for these diseases and also Rhizoctonia limb rot. Timeliness and coverage are CRITICAL.


Asian soybean rust has been puzzling this year. We found it in kudzu very early in the season, yet to date it remains confined to kudzu in our southern tier of counties. I still expect soybean rust to “break out” as southern corn rust has done, but I can’t understand what it is doing now. Fortunately, our Sentinel Plots are being monitored, so we can keep you up-to-date. Even though the disease has been slow to develop, I still believe that there is merit, especially in southern Georgia, to protect the soybeans during late-bloom/early pod set, especially when applying something like dimilin and boron. There are other diseases, such as frogeye leaf spot, which can be problematic and that can be managed with the same fungicides at the same time.

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Pond “UFO”?

We were looking at some pond weeds this week and saw an Unidentified “Floating” Object. Well, it wasn’t exactly floating. But it looked like Jell-O sitting on the bottom. We picked it up and set it on the ground. It’s texture was like a jellyfish. We cut it into also.

It turned out to be an invertebrate animal referred to as ‘Bryozoan colonies.’ UGA Extension Aquatic Scientist Dr. Gary Burtle says Bryozoans live in relatively clean water. Does it have any relation to fishing? Dr. Burtle says:

They may indicate that the bream population of this pond is not very abundant. Ask about fishing success and if bream are caught.  Sometimes, in a bass overcrowded pond, the bream population is so low that these invertebrates can thrive.

Bryozoan invertebrate from a pond

Bryozoan cut in half

You may have seen these before. This is one of those, ‘you learn something knew everyday.’ The Smithsonian Marine Station has more information.

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Foliage Feeding Caterpillars In Peanuts

We’ve been treating for worms in peanuts now. I’m seeing some loopers mostly. But there are reports of tobacco budworm, and I do see some TBW moths flying. We need to be scouting when we are in the field. The biggest question is our threshold.

Egg mass from armyworms (left); and ‘windowpane’ feeding (right)


For foliage feeding caterpillars, our threshold is 4 – 8 per row foot. Remember, peanuts can tolerate a significant amount of defoliation with no impact on yield, but when we start to see ragged leaves, it becomes difficult to hold back. Our peanuts look really good thanks to timely rainfall. When peanuts are not stressed, we can go closer to 8 on the threshold.

Caterpillars feeding on blooms?

This was in issue a few years ago where UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. Mark Abney had this to say:

Bloom feeding has been observed in peanut for a number of years, and current thresholds do not take this type of damage into account. Peanut produces a lot of blooms, and not all of them will result in harvestable pods even in perfect conditions. The impact of caterpillar feeding on blooms is not known. I think it is reasonable to be more aggressive in making treatment decisions when significant bloom feeding is observed. What is “significant bloom feeding”?  That is a question that will have to be answered on a case by case basis taking into account the condition of the field, number of caterpillars, maturity of the crop, and personal experience

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