It takes 140 to 150 days to raise a peanut crop from planting to harvest, and achieving maximum potential yield is dependent on effective weed and disease control.
Starting the season off strong with an effective preemergence herbicide, such as Valor® EZ Herbicide, minimizes weed competition and ensures peanut plants have ample room to grow without competition for sunlight, water and nutrients.
"The importance of using Valor EZ as a preemergence herbicide is that the growers get off to a very clean start with respect to weed control," says John Altom, a Valent U.S.A. territory account manager covering Florida and Georgia. "A grower can eliminate weed competition to maximize yield potential and then come in later in the season with a foliar application of Excalia® Fungicide to further protect the peanut crop from yield-robbing soilborne diseases."
Effective weed and disease control is crucial to achieving yield potential in peanut production. Weeds compete with peanuts for nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They also compete for water, light and space.
"If we can make sure that the peanuts have access to nutrients, water, light and space by the removal of weeds, we help those peanuts maximize their yield potential," says John Pawlak, herbicide product development manager for Valent U.S.A. "Weeds can also harbor insects and diseases that can move into peanuts. So that's another advantage of using a high rate of Valor EZ to control weeds."
Valor EZ Herbicide is extremely effective on Palmer amaranth, Florida beggarweed, hairy indigo, and other small-seeded broadleaf weeds that are troublesome in peanut production.
In peanut production, problem weed species vary with geography. In the Southeast states of Georgia, Florida and Alabama, Florida beggarweed is a concern for peanut growers. In northern Florida, hairy indigo is a troublesome weed in peanut production. Common ragweed is more of an issue in the Carolinas and Virginia, and puncturevine is mostly a problem in Texas and Oklahoma production.
“All three production areas fight pigweeds and it's very important to use the labeled three-ounce rate of Valor EZ Herbicide for control of these key weeds,” Pawlak says.
Effectively controlling foliar and soilborne diseases also is critical to maintaining yield potential. Particularly concerning to Southeast peanut growers are foliar pathogens, such as leaf spot diseases, and soilborne diseases such as white mold and Rhizoctonia.
“Excalia has quickly been recognized as a top-tier soilborne disease fungicide in peanuts,” Altom says. “We lose more peanut yield to white mold than any other disease and Excalia is very effective on white mold.”
For effective disease control, Altom recommends a tank mix of Excalia, at a rate of two fluid ounces per acre, and a leaf spot fungicide beginning about 45 days after planting. Subsequent applications of Excalia, at the two-ounce rate, should be made 60 and 90 days after planting. If needed, treatments of another fungicide for leaf spot disease control should be made at 75-, 105- and 120-day timings.
“Having that core treatment of Excalia at 45, 60 and 90 days is essential to protecting the peanut crop from white mold and maximizing yield potential,” Altom says.
Third-party university research in multiple Georgia locations demonstrates the effectiveness of Excalia, with the Excalia trials recording the highest yields.
“We're going up against all the competitors putting their best foot forward with a robust fungicide program, and the Excalia program has won that trial the last four years,” Altom says. “Excalia is a highly effective SDHI fungicide that allows growers to maximize their yields. Excalia is the cat's meow for white mold control.”
To learn more about how crop protection products from Valent U.S.A. can improve (harvest efficiency) in your peanuts, visit Valent.com.