COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Florida State University and
TUnited States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
H. G. Clayton, Director
(Prepared by Extension Agronomists and Entomologist,
based on research results by
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations and Other
Southeastern Experiment Stations)
POINTS TO SUCCESS
1. Grow peanuts in rotation with other well-
fertilized field crops.
2. Prepare land early.
3. Apply necessary lime and fertilizer.
4. Use high quality seed of a good variety and
5. Use proper spacing for the variety.
6. Keep crop free of weeds.
7. Apply gypsum as blooming begins.
8. Dust to control leafspot and foliage insects.
9. Harvest at proper time.
10. Cure harvested nuts by methods that will
minimize seed damage.
From the standpoint of acreage, peanuts are
the second most important field crop grown in
Florida. However, the annual acreage has de-
creased gradually during the last 15 years, from
a high of 480,000 acres in 1939 to a low of 158,000
acres in 1954. Most of the crop is grown in the
area north and west of Bushnell. Peanuts are
grown alone or interplanted with other crops.
Only 25 percent of the 1934 crop was grown
alone. In contrast, 76 percent of the 1954 crop
was grown alone. Part of the acreage grown
alone is harvested for the nuts and the remainder
of the crop is hogged-off.
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
Marketing quotas on harvested peanuts were
not in effect during World War II and in the early
post-war period, but controls have been in effect
since 1949. The harvested acreage in Florida
averaged more than 100,000 acres during the
7-year period 1942 to 1948 and less than 56,000
acres during the last 7-year period, 1949 to 1955.
ASC records and AMS statistical reports show
that the average yield of harvested nuts was 634
pounds per acre during the period 1942 to 1948
and 886 pounds per acre during the period 1949
to 1955. Further improvement in average yield
can be accomplished through wider use of im-
proved varieties and better production practices.
SOILS AND ROTATIONS
Grow peanuts on well drained soils in a 3- or 4-
year rotation with other field crops that have
been well fertilized.
Other crops in the rotation should be resistant
to nematodes and Southern blight. Crops recom-
mended for rotation with peanuts include corn,
cotton and small grains. A crop, such as soybeans,
tobacco, lupines and many vegetables, which
builds up the nematode population should be
avoided in the peanut rotation, especially as the
immediately preceding crop.
Turn land well and early so that weeds and
crop residues will be buried and largely will have
been decomposed by planting time.
Choose varieties that produce good yields of
high quality products and are well suited for the
uses to be made of the crop.
Runner Varieties.-Use Dixie Runner, Early
Runner or Florispan Runner, if nuts are to be
harvested. If the crop is to be hogged-off, use
either Dixie Runner of Early Runner.
Dixie Runner matures about 10 days earlier
than common Southeastern runners, and Early
and Florispan mature about 10 days earlier than
Dixie Runner. If left in the ground after they
reach maturity, seed of Florispan will sprout at
once; those of Dixie Runner and Early Runner will
remain dormant for several months.
Dixie Runner and Early Runner are about equal
in yield and both produce seed of excellent qual-
ity. Florispan is more productive than either
Dixie Runner or Early Runner, but seed are more
easily damaged in curing.
Because of poor quality in the 1955 crop of
Florispan peanuts a number of objections to this
variety have been registered by processors. If
these objections are substantiated by an investi-
gation currently underway, CCC may find it neces-
sary to reduce the price support levels for Flori-
span peanuts in 1956 and subsequent years.
Spanish Varieties.-Use Dixie Spanish if large
nut is desired and GFA Spanish if small nut is
Dixie Spanish, which formerly was known by
its number, 146, produces higher yields than GFA.
Neither variety of Spanish peanuts is suitable
for hogging-off, because of lack of dormancy.
Treat all seed, especially those shelled by ma-
chine, to reduce seed decay and seedling damage.
Seed purchased from shelling plants usually have
Recommended chemicals and rates of applica-
tion, in ounces per 100 pounds of shelled seed, are:
Ounces per 100 lbs.
Chemical Of Shelled Seed
Ceresan, 2% ......................................... .....3 to 4
Chloranil, 96% (Spergon) ................................... .3 to 4
Cuprous oxide, yellow ............................. ... 3 to 4
Thiram, 50% (Arasan) .................................. 2 to 3
FERTILIZATION AND LIMING
Have soil tested and apply necessary lime and
Calcium and potassium are the key elements
in the nutrition of peanuts. If the results of soil
tests show that the calcium supply in the soil is
equivalent to less than 500 pounds of calcium
oxide per acre, a response to additional calcium
may be expected. Calcium may be supplied by
broadcasting dolomitic or calcic limestone prior to
planting or by topdressing with landplaster at
blooming time. In general, the rate of applica-
tion of limestone should not exceed 1 ton per acre
every 4 or 5 years.
Extensive tests have shown that potassium
requirements of peanuts are best met by applying
it at heavier than usual rates to preceding crops i
the rotation. If the soil is found to be deficien
in potassium, 150 pounds of muriate of potash per
acre should be broadcast before breaking the lan
or 300 to 400 pounds of 0-14-14 or 0-10-20 should
be applied at planting time.
The fertilizer used at planting should be place
in bands 3 to 4 inches to each side of the seed
row and 4 to 6 inches below the level of the seed
Space seed of runner varieties 5 to 6 inches
apart in 30- to 36-inch rows and those of Spanish
varieties 3 to 4 inches apart in 24- to 28-inch rows.
Cultivate early and often, practicing shallow
cultivation at all times. Begin cultivation with E
rotary hoe before the plants emerge and continue
at 4- to 5-day intervals until the plants begin
to bloom. After plants have begun to bloom, cul-
tivation should be done with sweeps and continued
until the vines have almost covered the ground
Pegs and young pods should not be disturbed bu
middles should be kept free of weeds.
Chemical Weed Control.-A pre-emergence ap
plication of Dinitro compounds (Premerge o0
Sinox PE) at the rate of 1 gallon of the chemical
in 10 to 20 gallons of water per acre, in a 12- to
14-inch band centered over the seed row, wil
control most annual weeds for a period of 6 to
12 weeks, eliminating the need for early cultiva.
tion for control of weeds in the row.
APPLICATION OF GYPSUM
If calcium level in the soil was found, by test,
to be inadequate and limestone was not applied
during preparation of the seedbed, apply 400
pounds of gypsum (landplaster) per acre over
the entire potential pegging zone as blooming be-
CONTROL OF DISEASES AND INSECTS
For control of leafspot begin dusting vines with
325-mesh sulfur or copper-sulfur (4% copper)
dust 60 to 75 days after planting or when leafspot
first appears on the oldest leaves. Dust at in.
tervals of 10 to 14 days and make a total of 4
applications, using 15 to 20 pounds per acre in
STo control leaf-hoppers, thrips and velvetbean
caterpillars, apply 5 percent DDT or 10 percent
oxaphene dust at rate of 15 to 20 pounds per
cre. If necessary, repeat treatment at intervals
of 10 to 14 days.
To control armyworms, cutworms and corn ear-
worms, apply 10 percent DDT or 20 percent toxa-
phene dust at rate of 15 to 20 pounds per acre.
For control of both insects and diseases the in-
secticide and fungicide may be applied as a
The last application of insecticide should be
completed at least 3 weeks before peanuts are
Begin harvesting when most of the pods are
filed and as soon as insides of hulls have turned
ark and have begun to exhibit veining, and be-
ore nuts begin to sprout or shed from the plant.
he usual growing seasons for the different varie-
ies are: GFA and Dixie Spanish, 110 to 120 days;
early Runner and Florispan Runner, 120 to 130
ays; Dixie Runner, 130 to 140 days; and common
southeastern Runner, 140 to 150 days. Dusting
or control of leafspot delays maturity a week to
0 days, and decreases shedding of nuts.
Plow up plants, shake soil from the roots and
allow vines to dry on the ground until the leaves
ave wilted. Do not allow dug peanuts to cure
n the ground for more than two days before
combining or stacking them.
In stacking, the wilted vines should be placed
round a pole about 3 inches in diameter and 8 to
Feet long. The poles should be set 2 to 21/2
eet in the ground and should have 2 crosspieces
5 to 18 inches above the ground. The roots
should be turned toward the pole and the center of
he stack should be kept open and higher than the
edges. The stack should be brought to a point
at least 6 inches above the top of the pole and
the top covered with grass or straw to protect the
nuts and hay. Peanuts should cure in the stack
4 to 6 weeks or until they are thoroughly dry
before they are picked. The picked nuts should
be marketed at once or stored in a cool, dry, well
ventilated, rat-proof structure.
Peanuts which are combined without being
allowed to cure in the stack should be dried in a
crop drier with an air-flow of not less than 40 cubic
feet per minute per square foot of floor area, at a
temperature not in excess of 1150 F., until the
moisture content of the nuts has been reduced to
at least 9 percent but not below 7 percent. Pea-
nuts may be dried loose or in burlap bags. If
dried in bags, the bags should be crisscrossed and
should not be filled to more than 75 percent of
capacity. The total thickness of the layers of
bags or of loose nuts above the drying floor should
not exceed 4 feet.
Begin grazing when the nuts are mature (see
above). Spanish peanuts sprout if left in ground
after they reach maturity. Runner varieties,
except Florispan, will remain dormant for several
months, but should be grazed out by the last of
December. Hogs on peanuts should be fed a
mineral supplement for best results.
PEANUT ACREAGE IN FLORIDA, 1954
For All Purposes Harvested
Grown Grown With For
Total* Alone Other Crops Picking
a ............ 11,265 8,331 2,934 1,680
................ 819 666 153 15
rd .......... 758 256 502 0
n ............ 2,271 2,128 143 1,744
-..........- 1,443 1,293 150 0
ia .......... 7,343 4,533 2,810 614
............... 1,912 1,069 843 12
n ........ 1,682 1,556 126 816
t .......... 8,149 4,323 3,826 239
on .......... 1,612 967 645 78
.............. 4,917 4,859 58 3,217
............ 34,361 33,668 693 24,225
n .......... 1,106 1,090 16 1,052
tte ........ 5,546 2,128 3,418 110
................ 751 687 64 388
............... 16,259 12,685 3,574 2,147
n ......... 1,362 979 383 188
.............. 13,360 10,832 2,528 2,201
a .......... 873 869 4 700
Rosa ...... 6,219 5,964 255 5,313
............ 1,454 1,163 291 0
ee ........ 25,910 13,214 12,696 1,330
.............. 686 159 527 7
.............. 1,118 618 500 0
S............ 1,071 1,046 25 473
.............. 2,256 2,190 66 1,324
gton .... 1,922 1,802 120 800
rs .......... 1,245 895 350 151
'ALS.... 157,670 119,970 37,700 48,824
Counties with less than 300 acres omitted.
From 1955 U. S. Census of Agriculture and 1954 ASC Statistical