Applied research for farmers

Extension plant pathologist with the University of Georgia conducts many research trials focusing on diseases of peanuts. “My research is very much applied and it has to be something that farmers are likely to use,” Kemerait says. “White mold has been the major focus of my research. We have some new and exciting products that have just been labeled for farmers.”

Kemerait is exploring the new products available for farmers and using older products in reduced input ways to try to manage diseases like white mold. Kemerait says, at the same time we are managing white mold we also have to make sure we are managing other diseases like defoliation from peanut leaf spot.

“I believe 2015 will be a year remembered by growers as the year of severe white mold,” Kemerait says. Most growers have struggled at times to manage the disease, even those that have used effective fungicide program. According to Kemerait, we have had a very warm year but the warm temperatures have made the disease like white mold very difficult to manage.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) has become hard to manage this year as well for growers. According to Kemerait, TSWV has basically been non-existent through the years of 2006 to 2008. Since 2013, Kemerait has noticed a slow and steady increase of TSWV. Unfortunately, there is not much farmers can do about the disease except for using the UGA peanut disease risk index and plant more resistant varieties.

View the 2015 Georgia Peanut Tour photo album.