Managing Vine Growth in Peanuts
Peanut growers have been slow to accept new varieties due to their excessive vine growth. Excessive vine growth has caused issues in managing diseases and other pests, along with slowing harvest due to the increase in biomass. UGA crop and soil scientists conducted statewide peanut trials and compiled data over a multi-year period to re-examine the utility of growth regulators to manage vine growth in runner-type peanut. Cultivar and treatment responses were evaluated based on canopy growth, yield, and grade. Results and recommendations are provided to UGA Extension agents in each county who in turn educate growers on which varieties perform best for their growers. Since these trials were conducted, growers have used the growth regulator (1/2 rate on average) on an estimated 35,000 acres in 2018 compared to zero acreage in 2016. The use of the growth regulator also increased yields an average of 600 pounds per acre, resulting in an increase in gross revenue of $4.2 million for Georgia growers on the 11 percent irrigated acres that adopted this new research.