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When Digging Peanuts, Speed Matters


Driving too quickly can lead to significant losses when digging peanuts, according to a recent study by Clemson University agricultural engineer Kendall Kirk.

Farmers often push digger speeds to save time or to outrace inclement weather, but driving too fast can reduce yield, Kirk said. Conversely, driving too slowly can rip vines apart and increase costs.

To establish an optimal speed for digging peanuts, Kirk tested various ground and conveyor speeds when digging Virginia-type peanuts at Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.

According to his study, optimal ground speed for digging Virginia peanuts is 2-2.5 miles per hour. For each mile per hour above that target speed, digging losses increased 200 pounds per acre.

Growers should also synchronize the speed of their digger’s shaker chain, or conveyor belt, to their ground speed.

Small Grain OVT Now Available

With corn coming out of the field at a rapid clip, and tobacco harvest wrapping up, it’s time to look at wheat varieties for fall planting.  NC State has released their official variety trial testing for winter wheat, suggesting that variety selection is key to producing optimum yield and quality across multiple soil and environmental conditions.  In addition, proper management of key insects and diseases in wheat starts with proper variety selection.  Common diseases and insects we typically see are the following: powdery mildew, leaf/stripe rust, head scab, and Hessian fly. For a link to NC State’s OVT for small grains, visit our website, SFNToday dot com.

Soybean Growers Want Dicamba Damage Answers

The American Soybean Association is demanding more answers regarding dicamba drift damage. ASA President Ron Moore this week addressed dicamba drift in a statement. Moore says the issue “isn’t going away,” and is “only getting worse.” The Association says it is supporting research at land grant universities to find answers. Moore says the independent research is needed, as well as research by states to “determine the root causes of this widespread problem and how to address them.” There are now a reported 2,200 complaints affecting 3.1 million acres of soybeans in 21 of 30 soybean-growing states, and ASA expects those numbers to climb.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.