As we get farther into the month of September, growers are preparing for harvest and planning to finish up their disease management programs.
For a number of reasons I believe peanut growers should remain vigilant for protection of their crop from diseases, especially white mold and leaf spot. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BECOME COMPLACENT IN DISEASE MANAGEMENT!
Now is the time to insure use of appropriate fungicides for white mold and leaf spot through the end of the season.
From Attapulgus (south Georgia) to Midville (eastern-middle Georgia) I am finding leaf spot and white mold developing aggressively in research plots.
Conditions throughout the season have likely provided the” fuel” for disease outbreaks and current temperatures could be the “match” that ignites white mold and leaf spot.
Underground white mold has been reported in a number of fields. This disease can pass without detection by the grower until harvest.
Managing underground white mold is always difficult. Our best options for improved management include a) irrigation or rainfall within 8 hours after fungicide applications and b) applying fungicides at night.
Cooler temperatures may delay maturity of the peanut crop, keeping the peanuts in the field longer and further exposing them to risk of disease.
September is a key month for hurricanes and tropical storms, both of which can increase risk to disease, delay fungicide applications and delay harvest.
Why so many burns?
Finally, I have made a number of field visits this season to assure anxious growers that the defoliation in their fields is not related to leaf spot but is more related to injury from their sprays.
I believe there are at least two important factors which have contributed to these burns:
• Delays in putting sprays on the fields have forced growers to use tank-mixes of an ever-increasing number of products that when combined can injure the crop.
• Abundant rainfall has created plants with foliage that is perhaps more tender and succulent than in more “normal” years. Tender leaves are more sensitive to spray injury.
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