Texas peanut harvest underway; growers expect good yields

Texas peanut farmers are just beginning to harvest what most expect to be a fairly good crop, despite some late season leaf spot infestations that trimmed yields, says Texas Extension agronomist, Todd Baughman, Vernon.

Baughman also says Rolling Plains farmers harvested a good wheat crop although many were disappointed with yields compared to “what might have been.” Cotton in the area looks decent but late, and milo, which replaced some cotton acreage last produced an excellent crop.

“The state peanut crop still looks good,” says Baughman, who serves as Extension peanut specialist among other duties. “A few growers are digging early because of heavy leafspot in places. We’re probably close to full scale harvest anyway.”

Baughman says heavier than usual leafspot pressure resulted from unusually wet conditions through much of the growing season. “It’s a good reminder that we need to maintain a good rotation program,” he says. “A lot of fields had leafspot before growers could do much to control it, but a lot of farmers sprayed on time and limited damage. Also, fungicides we use for other diseases have some activity on leafspot.”

He says growers did a good job controlling weeds despite wet weather. “We have some good herbicides and they were more active this year with the moisture. A few spots got away from growers.”

Baughman says in a few cases growers could have been “a bit more diligent with disease control this year. But most did a good job of scouting. A few also waited a bit late to begin irrigation. Some held off just a little too long.”

Baughman says peanuts across Texas look good as harvest nears. “Acreage is up, too, about 30,000 more than last year.”

Other crop prospects in the Rolling Plains also look good. “Dryland cotton will be fair,” he says. “Some will be late and yields may be off some.”

He says the milo crop was good with many farmers reporting 4,000 pound per acre yields. “We had some pretty good corn, too,” he says.

Wheat was a mixed bag. “Overall, we’ll probably make above normal yields,” he says. “But growers who were expecting 40 or 50 bushels per acre and made 30 will be disappointed.”

He says powdery mildew came in for about 30 days. “It’s usually not a problem, but following the powdery mildew, rust hit for another 30 days, so wheat had 60 days of disease pressure instead of a typical 30 days.”

He says some growers are concerned about seed supply for fall planting. “Some varieties will be in short supply,” he says. “But a lot of growers, especially those who wanted newer varieties, booked early.”

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