Calcium – important nutrient for peanuts

While at the Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center, Glen Harris University of Georgia Extension soils and fertilizer specialist visited with attendees about calcium nutrition for peanuts. For the last three or four years we’ve really focused on calcium nutrition on peanuts, Harris says. The focus started when the industry shifted from small seeded to large seeded peanut varieties. Harris has been comparing the varieties and the calcium requirements needed. According to Harris, he found out that growers can maintain using the University of Georgia old recommendations on the new larger seeded peanut varieties.

Since then, Harris’ research has shifted more into looking at ways of providing calcium to the pegging zone of peanuts which is really important for the yields. He is also looking at different gypsums, calcium chloride and lime through the pivot. Although, the old standard Extension recommendation is if you need calcium then apply 1,000 pounds of gypsum at bloom time is still the standard today for growers.

The 2014 peanut crop of irrigated peanuts look good but the dryland peanuts have suffered a little. As far as nutrients, Harris says, he hasn’t noticed any major nutrient problems. However, he is a little concerned with the calcium nutrition in dryland because you need the water to get the calcium into the nut so you don’t get pops. “So, we might find that we have a little lower yields and pops, due not only to the drought, but maybe even due to some calcium issues,” Harris says. He says there’s not a whole lot growers can do about that, if you do everything you can and still get dry weather. But overall, the 2014 crop, nutritionally, is looking very good, he adds.

View the 2014 Georgia Peanut Photo Album.