For nearly two decades now, many producers have utilized the twin-row pattern for planting peanuts. Research has clearly shown the advantages of peanuts planted in twin-rows when compared to the conventional row pattern.
In the twin-row pattern, a pair of rows are planted approximately 7 inches apart on each side of a bed. A bed would be the area between the tractor tires, which in most cases is 72 or 76 inches wide.
By comparison, the single-row pattern consists of individual rows spaced 36 to 38 inches apart. The advantages of the twin-row pattern over the single-row pattern include a yield increase of 300 to 400 pounds per acre, a 1 to 2 percent increase in total sound mature kernels (TSMK), and a reduction in the severity of tomato spotted wilt virus.
Research was initiated in 2001 with the support of funding from the National Peanut Board to evaluate a triple-row pattern compared to the twin and single rows.
In all previous research comparing the twin- and single-row patterns, the seeding rate per acre was kept the same — six seed per foot of row on single rows and three seed per foot of row on twin rows. The triple-row pattern was planted at two seed per foot of row in all trials. Therefore, plant population for all three row patterns was constant.
Trials were conducted in the crop years 2001, 2002 and 2003 at multiple locations in the Southeast, including Tifton, Plains, Attapulgus and Midville in Georgia; Headland in Alabama; Marianna in Florida; and Blackville in South Carolina.
Each year, three cultivars were planted in the single-, twin- and triple-row patterns. All trials were planted in large plots to mimic grower conditions. Row pattern by cultivar were replicated at least four times.
An analysis of the data from the trials conducted in 2001 and 2002 — when averaged over locations and cultivars — indicates that the triple-row pattern does not provide a significant advantage in yield or in the percent of TSMK when compared to the twin-row pattern.
The triple-row pattern did have significantly less tomato spotted wilt virus than the twin-row pattern in 2002 but not in 2001
Analysis of the 2003 data is incomplete at this time. Once all three years of date is combined, a final report will be generated and presented to growers.