The Georgia Peanut Tour kicked off with a Hot Topics Seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at Lake Blackshear Golf Resort in Cordele. During the seminar Scott, Monfort, University of Georgia Extension Peanut Agronomist. According to Monfort the 2019 peanut crop pretty much the same as most years but the weather is not what you would consider a normal
year. Georgia growers planted approximately 650,000 acres of peanuts in 2019. At the beginning of the season, farmers started out in a good situation where they had plenty of moisture and heat to get the peanuts planted earlier than the last couple of
years. Then the weather changed and farmers ran out of moisture real quick and the weather turned hot. The temperatures soared to 90+ degrees and the middle to latter part of May all the way through today. We’ve had a tremendous amount of 90 degree temperatures all the way through the growing season this year with a limited amount of moisture. We did get moisture but it was pretty limited for the most part.
So when you start to look at the crop this year, there’s several things participants will notice on the tour. The irrigated peanuts which are about 50% of our peanuts look above average, because again they had the heat to push the crop but they also had the moisture. You can put on the moisture at any given moment during that period. Where we have problems that we are worried about right now is the non-irrigated crop and in any given year, we talk about how Mother Nature can throw a curve ball at us, in pockets or regions of Georgia but this year its all over. There have been some areas that received moisture at the right times and so there are some non irrigated crops that look just as good as irrigated crops. But, when you look at the average of non irrigated crop, it’s going to be below what we typically like to see yield and quality wise.
Georgia farmers have had problems with tomato spotted wilt virus, as well as, lesser corn salt borers and diseases. We are dealing with that and that’s going to cause some problems but overall the hot dry conditions is the major issue that we are dealing with.
Farmers are in the harvest season right now, it is the second week of September. We have been digging and harvesting peanuts for approximately a week a half now. Some of those are because we planted earlier, and we were able to mature those out and needed to come out of the ground to be harvested. A lot of those especially the irrigated crop looks pretty good. They are yielding very well as well as grading well – the quality is good at this time. As far as the non irrigated crop, farmers were able to save some of that crop by digging early because it did not put on any more peanuts beyond a certain period. So, they are digging those peanuts as well.