NC Peanut Farmers Being Proactive in Wake of Heavy Rains
The talk has been for close to a year now that there would be a reduction of peanut acres in North Carolina this year, but that doesn’t mean there are NO peanut acres says CEO of the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association Bob Sutter:
“The reduction of acres is just a function of we just produced too many peanuts last year. So, its going to take us a little while to get out of that, we still produce a quality crop because the demand for Virginia type peanuts is very strong and we have a quality crop on the way.”
We’ve heard all growing season about crops standing in water in many places, and peanuts are no exception, they don’t do well in standing water. With that said, most peanuts are planted in sandy soils, which changes the dynamic says Sutter:
“Its amazing, here it is the 30th of July, and a couple of weeks ago we were wondering if it was ever going to quit raining, but now we’ve actually got people in some counties running irrigation because it doesn’t take long for those sandy soils you talked about to dry out. The crop is in a very good position, if it does turn really, really hot and dry the stress could be greater than in a normal year because it’s been so wet, we don’t have that really deep root system that’s developed, so we’re hoping we get intermittent rains and people can irrigate if they can to keep it going because it looks really good now.”
And with lots of rain comes increased weed, insect and disease pressure. Sutter says peanut farmers are having to be very proactive:
“Well, there are a great deal of weed escape poking up in the fields through the canopy, and so we’ve had the need for additional herbicide applications along with the stem rot and leaf spot applications. Scleractinia continues to be in the background, we do have favorable conditions for that but people may be starting to spray for that, but they are able to get into the field for that. But, they are able to get into the field and work it. they are able to combine some applications into one and to lessen the number of times they have to go across the field.”
Bob Sutter, CEO of the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association.