Some say old habits die hard, but when it comes to growing peanuts this year, killing off some past habits may be the difference between making and losing money.
South Carolina and Clemson University Peanut Specialist Scott Monfort says he’s gotten an unusually high number of questions this year about which variety to plant.
Under some circumstances planting the right variety can save a grower $30 to $50 per acre, especially on fungicide costs, he says.
In particular, planting Bailey versus some of the more disease prone Virginia-type varieties can save growers big money on fungicide costs, he adds.
Last year in variety tests at the Edisto Research Station in Blackville and the PeeDee Research Station in Florence, the impact of disease resistant versus disease prone varieties was clearly evident.
“I have received a lot of questions over the past few weeks regarding variety performance and disease resistance compared to Bailey (our new standard). Remember to keep in mind the disease package when picking a variety (Not just yield and grade). A susceptible variety could cost you an extra $30 to $50 per acre over the growing season compared to Bailey,” Monfort says.
“Bailey produces a large plant and that has been a problem for some growers. And, it’s not a cure-all remedy for peanut production, but in terms of natural disease protection, combined with yield potential, it is a good option for many growers,” he adds.
Last year Clemson researchers looked at several popular Virginia and runner type peanut varieties, grown with only three leafspot fungicide applications.
Of the eight varieties tested, Bailey out-yielded the next highest one by more than 600 pounds per acre.
Bailey produced 5,006 pounds per acre. Spain, Gregory and VA 98 R all topped 4,300 pounds per acre. Georgia 11 J, NC V-11 and Florida Fancy all topped 4,000 pounds per acre. Perry and Phillips each produced about 3,900 pounds per acre.
White mold impact
A quick look at the levels of white mold, leafspot and tomato spotted wilt virus damage to the nine varieties in the test provides ample reason for the higher yields from Bailey.
The percentage of plants with white mold for Bailey was 9.2 percent — the average was 21.9 percent. Though there are several fungicides used to combat white mold, in most cases there is little that can be done to prevent yield loss once the disease develops in a peanut field.
On a scale of 1-10, from light to heavy leafspot damage, Bailey had the second lowest percentage of damage. Florida Fancy at 5.9 topped Bailey, which came in at 6.1. The average among the nine varieties in the test was 6.6.
The top disease performance for Bailey came in damage, or lack thereof, from tomato spotted wilt virus. Bailey blew away the other eight varieties in the test, with a percent stunting from the disease at only 1.7 percent. The next best variety was rated with 5.4 percent stunting. The average for all nine varieties was 8.9 percent.
Monfort points out that Bailey doesn’t always come out on top in disease resistance, but it consistently is on top or near the top in all the major diseases that pose a risk to peanut yields in South Carolina.
(For another look at new peanut varieties that are available and some in the pipeline, see Peanut growers have more, better variety options).
The South Carolina researchers carried out the test to measure value per acre, and it is no surprise that Bailey was near the top in economics as well.
GA 11J produced the top money value of $1,105 per acre, compared to Bailey at $1,083. GA 08V, FL Fancy, Sugg, Perry and Champs all produced more than $1,000 per acre.
Among both Virginia and runner type peanuts, Bailey out-distanced all varieties in terms of yield.
In tests at both the Edisto Research Station in Blackville, S.C., and the PeeDee Research Station in Florence, Bailey was the only variety to average 5,000 pounds per acre at both locations.
Among runner types in the test at both locations FL 07, with 5,536 pounds per acre in Blackville and 3,776 pounds per acre in Florence was the high yielder. GA 098, GA 06G, GA 07W and Florunner 07 all topped 5,000 pounds per acre in Blackville and between 3,124 and 3,873 at Florence.
Jay Chapin, now retired South Carolina peanut specialist has worked with Bailey since it was first developed and years before it was released as a new variety by North Carolina State University in 2009.
Chapin says Bailey is truly an outstanding variety, but growers can take best advantage of its many benefits by following some simple guidelines.
• Unless grown for seed, use Bailey on the worst white mold and CBR fields you have. Based on 5 years of tests at the Edisto Research Center in Blackville, S.C., soil disease resistance is the greatest strength of this variety. Bailey has a very impressive level of white mold resistance and though not immune to CBR, it is better than anything else we have;
• There are three reasons to plant Bailey first: very good virus resistance, excellent white mold resistance, and shorter maturity for an early start on digging;
• Be aware of maturity. Bailey can be 7 days earlier than NC-V 11;
• Be prepared to add a pyrethroid to a fungicide spray (typically in July) if you see hopper burn starting on field edges. Bailey is more susceptible to leaf hopper feeding, but this is an easy problem to solve. Hopper burn on field edges is not a big deal; just don’t let it spread across the entire field;
• Don’t be surprised if Bailey grows a bigger “bush” than any peanut variety you have seen. A guidance system will find the rows, but some growers have reported problems inverting them because of the vine size; others have had no problems;
• Fungicide programs: Even though Bailey is less susceptible to white mold and late leafspot than any other available variety, Bailey must be protected from leaf spotdefoliation and has also shown a consistent yield response to soil fungicides in our tests.
• For now, the minimum fungicide program should be: 45 DAP: Bravo 1.5 pt; then tebuconazole (generic Folicur) plus Bravo 1 pt at 60, 75, 90, and 105 DAP. We will be working with growers to test some 4-spray programs using longer residual leaf spot materials. CBR: Fields with a history of severe CBR should be treated with a combination of Proline in-furrow and variety resistance (Bailey, Perry, or Georgia Greener).
• No variety is perfect. We believe that Bailey will be an important variety for us in South Carolina because it can protect us from white mold control failures along with reducing our susceptibility to CBR, tomato spotted wilt and late leaf spot.
• But, as with any new variety, have realistic expectations. We never really know what a variety will do until it’s planted on large acreage. Bailey has a lot of yield in it and has been near the top even in our tests with no soil disease pressure, but we have also had low disease tests where standards (Champs, NC-V 11) beat it. Bailey shines under high soil disease pressure.
As growers head into planting season there is plenty of uncertainty as to how much their peanut crop will be worth. With that in mind, choosing a variety with the flexibility to allow growers to cut back on crop protection costs without significantly jeopardizing yield is a big advantage.
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