1%W1?I ______ t'~~
From the standpoint of acreage, peanuts are
Florida's third most important field crop. How-
ever, the acreage grown for all purposes has
decreased gradually from 480,000 acres in 1939
to fewer than 100,000 acres in each of the three
years 1963, 1964 and 1965. Most of the crop is
grown in the area north and west of Bushnell.
Peanuts are grown alone or interplanted with
other crops, mainly corn. Only 25 percent of the
1934 crop was grown alone. In contrast, 89 per-
cent of the 1963 crop was grown alone.
The acreage harvested annually in Florida
during the 16-year period 1949 to 1964 ranged
from a high of 65,281 acres in 1950 to a low of
43,621 acres in 1960 and averaged 51,008 acres.
ASCS records show that the average of har-
vested nuts was 901 pounds per acre for the 8-
year period 1949 to 1956 and 1,119 pounds per
acre for the 8-year period 1957 to 1964. The esti-
mated average yield for 1965 is 1,700 pounds per
Further increases in the average yield can be
achieved through wider use of good production
practices. Many Florida farmers are harvesting
more than a ton of high-quality nuts per acre
every year and at least one has had an average
production of more than 11 / tons for the last 7
SOILS AND ROTATIONS
Grow peanuts on well-drained soils in a 2-, 3-,
or 4-year rotation with other crops that have been
Other crops in the rotation should be resistant
to nematodes and southern blight. Crops recom-
mended for rotation with peanuts include corn,
small grains and other grasses. Most legumes
and many vegetable crops build up the nematode
population and should be avoided in the peanut
rotation, especially as immediately preceding
LIMING AND FERTILIZATION
Improve soil fertility of fields to be planted
to peanuts by liming and fertilizing for maximum
economic production of other crops in the rotation.
Liming-Recommendations as to the kind and
amount of limestone that should be applied are
based on consideration of pH preferences and
calcium and magnesium requirements of the crops
in the rotation and of the pH value and calcium
and magnesium contents of soil samples analyzed
in the laboratory.
Limestone is of two kinds-calcic and dol-
omitic. In addition to reducing soil acidity, calcic
limestone supplies the plant nutrient calcium and
dolomitic limestone supplies calcium and mag-
For development of well-filled nuts, an ade-
quate supply of calcium must be available in the
fruiting zone, as well as in the rooting zone, of the
peanut plant. Therefore, to be most effective as
a source of calcium, and to not interfere with
proper preparation of a good seedbed for peanuts,
the recommended kind and amount of limestone
should be broadcast evenly over the surface and
thoroughly mixed with the soil in the plow layer
before the preceding spring crop is planted.
Fertilization-Peanuts respond better to resi-
dual soil fertility than to direct fertilization. For
this reason, emphasis is placed on proper fertili-
zation of preceding crops.
If phosphorus and/or potash levels are low or
if maintenance of high fertility is desired use rec-
ommendations in the table on page 4 as guides
for fertilization of the peanut crop.
In early fall, have soil tested, shred crop resi-
dues, apply the recommended kind and amount
of limestone and disk land to incorporate lime
and crop residues into the top 3 or 4 inches of
soil. The partially incorporated residues will
tend to protect the soil against erosion by wind
and water during winter and early spring.
If additional soil protection is desired or if
winter grazing is needed, apply the proper kind
and amount of fertilizer just ahead of the disking
operation and plant rye, or another small grain
of your choice. Just before time to turn land for
peanut crop, graze plants to ground level, or re-
duce plant height by use of rotary mower set close
to the ground, and break up root sod by disking
land thoroughly to depth of 3 to 4 inches.
Three to 4 weeks before planting time, broad-
cast the recommended kind and amount of fer-
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FERTILIZATION
OF PEANUTS *
A. ON BASIS OF
Kind and Amount of Fertilizer
B. WITHOUT BENEFIT OF SOIL-TEST RESULT
Kind and Amount of Fertilizer
Texture of Surface Soil Grade Lbs./A.
Loamy Sand or Sandy Loam or
*Peanuts, when inoculated with the proper strain of nitrogen-
fixing bacteria, do not respond to applications of fertilizer nitrogen.
However, many farmers like to include nitrogen as well as phosphorus
and potash in fertilizers for peanuts. For this reason, a complete, as
well as an incomplete, mixed fertilizer is recommended for each set
The indicated fertilizer of your choice, containing minor elements
if they are needed, should be broadcast just before the land is turned.
If need for boron or other minor elements is indicated by past
experience, have a complete minor element frit added to the fertilizer,
at a rate that will result in application of 20 pounds of the frit per
acre. If need for boron only is indicated, soluble boron may be applied
at the rate of 11/ pounds of BO, (1, B) per acre, in the fertilizer at
planting time, in the gypsum applied at blooming time, or in the first
application of leafspot dust or spray.
Symptoms of minor element deficiencies that have been noted in
peanuts in Florida are:
Copper-Young leaves are light green to chlorotic, small and
Manganese-Plants are stunted ; young leaves are yellow with green
Boron-Young leaves are mottled, small and distorted; internodes
are short; stems are sometimes cracked; and nuts are hollow hearted.
tilizer and turn land with a moldboard plow,
equipped with coulters, so that all litter will be
covered with at least 4 inches of soil.
If for any reason it becomes necessary to ap-
ply fertilizer at planting time, rather than before
the land is turned, it should be placed in bands 3
to 4 inches to each side of the seed row and 3 to
4 inches below the level of the seed.
Choose a variety, of each type desired, that
produces high yields and is well suited for the
uses to be made of the crop. Varieties recom-
mended for Florida, by commercial types, with
average number of days from planting to matur-
ity in parentheses, are:
Spanish-Starr, (120); and Argentine, (120).
These two varieties out-yield other commonly
available Spanish varieties. Average yields in
Georgia tests during the 4-year period 1962 to
1965, in pounds of unshelled nuts per acre, were:
Argentine, 3,613; Starr, 3,568; Dixie, 3,204; and
Runner-Early, (135) ; Bradford, (145) ; and
Dixie, (145). All of these varieties have more
resistance to seed damage than common Florida
Runner. Average yields in Florida tests during
the 5-year period 1960 to 1964, in pounds of un-
shelled nuts per acre, were: Early, 3,242; Brad-
ford, 2,643; and Dixie, 2,062. The acreage of
Early Runner is increasing each year whereas
acreages of Bradford and Dixie are decreasing.
Virginia-Florigiant, (135). In yield and re-
sistance to seed damage, Florigiant is superior to
all other released varieties of Virginia-type pea-
nuts that have been tested in Florida. Average
yields and percent seed damage for Florigiant and
NC 2 in Florida strain tests during the 4-year
period 1960 to 1963 were:
Yield, Pods Seed Damage
Florigiant 3,715 3.34
NC 2 3,112 6.59
All of the Spanish varieties are upright in
growth habit, whereas all of the runner varieties
and Florigiant have spreading habit of growth.
Harvested nuts of all of the recommended
varieties are acceptable to the edible nut trade,
but local preferences may vary. Consult your
sheller or buyer before making your final choice
If the crop is to be hogged-off, choose a variety
of the runner type. Seed of these varieties, if
left in the ground after they reach maturity,
usually will remain dormant for several months.
Plant sound, well-matured, disease-free seed
of known pedigree, purity and performance.
Florida certified peanut seed, which are grown
and processed under strict regulations and close
supervision, are true to variety and of high
Treat all seed, especially those shelled by ma-
chine, to reduce seed decay and seedling damage.
Standard seed treatment chemicals and rates
of application, in ounces per 100 pounds of shelled
seed, are: thiram, 75% (Arasan 75), 2; thiram
50% (Arasan 50), 3; chloranil, 96% (Spergon),
3; and 2% Ceresan, 3.
Recent work at the Georgia Coastal Plain Ex-
periment Station indicates that a mixture of 3
parts 2% Ceresan and 2 parts Captan 75, applied
at rate of 4 ounces per 100 pounds of seed, is
superior to 2% Ceresan alone and to the standard
All Florida certified seed are treated before
they are put on the market, and most shelling
plants are equipped to treat seed.
If seed are not certified, and seed-treatment
service is not available, treat them on the farm
by filling a barrel or other large container not
more than half full of weighed seed, adding the
proper quantity of one of the recommended chem-
icals, sealing the container tightly and rolling or
rotating it slowly until all seed are uniformly
coated with the dust.
Do not use treated seed for food, feed or oil.
If field has not been in peanuts, or other leg-
ume of the cross-inoculation group to which pea-
nuts belong, during the last 5 years, inoculate seed
with the proper strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria
just before they are placed in the planter.1
Plant between April 1 and May 15, at times
when temperature and soil moisture conditions
are favorable for germination and growth. Early
April plantings usually produce higher yields
than later plantings.
Space seed of Spanish varieties 2 to 3 inches
apart in 24- to 28-inch rows and those of Runner
and Virginia varieties 3 to 4 inches apart in 32-
to 36-inch rows.
Cover the seed 2 to 3 inches in light-textured
soils and 1% to 2 inches in heavier-textured soils.
After they are covered, the top of the seed row
should be level with, or slightly above, the middles.
Level or ridge planting, which is required for
non-dirting of peanut plants and for proper appli-
cation of weed control chemicals, can be accom-
plished through use of sweeps, set flat and shal-
low, followed by planters equipped with covering
knives and wide press-wheels. If wide press-wheel
attachments are not available a 12- or 14-inch
roller or other smoothing device can be attached
just behind each planter press-wheel.
To reduce or eliminate need for early cultiva-
tion, apply the alkanol amine salts of DNBP in
combination with either 2,4-DEP or SES, broad-
cast or to a 12- or 14-inch band centered over the
seed row, as the peanut plants begin to "crack"
Recommended rates of application per acre of
treated area are 2 pounds of 2,4-DEP plus 11/2
pounds of DNBP or 3 pounds of SES plus 11/
pounds of DNBP, in 20 to 40 gallons of water.
For application of the herbicides, use a tractor
mounted sprayer that is equipped with a corrosion
resistant tank, power-take-off operated nylon rol-
'Peanuts, cowpeas, velvetbeans, lespedeza, hairy in-
digo, crotalaria, beggarweed and partridge pea all belong
to the same cross-inoculation group.
Herbicide rates are in pounds of active ingredient
or equivalent. Premerge and Sinox PE are commercial
products that contain the alkanol amine salts of DNBP
equivalent to 3 pounds of DNBP (dinitro-o-sec-butyl-
phenol) per gallon; Falone 44E is a commercial product
that contains 4 pounds of 2,4-DEP per gallon; and Sesone
is a commercial product that is 90 percent SES.
ler pump, pressure regulator with gauge, and an
even flow "E" top nozzle of the proper size over
The sprayer should be clean, in good working
order and properly calibrated and the height of
each nozzle should be adjusted so that a band of
the desired width is sprayed.
Do not allow spray to drift to cotton, tobacco
or other sensitive crops nor use spray unit for
spraying sensitive crop unless the tank has been
replaced and the other equipment thoroughly
cleaned. Read labels carefully, follow instructions
and observe precautions.
As long as weeds do not become a problem in
the treated band, confine cultivation to the mid-
dles, exercising care to prevent movement of un-
treated soil onto the treated band.
If chemical weed control is not used, cultivate
early and often, practicing flat, shallow cultiva-
tion at all times.
For early cultivation, use weeders or rotary
hoes. Remove weeder teeth directly over the rows
and operate weeders and rotary hoes so as to keep
to a minimum mechanical injury to plants.
For later cultivation, use sweeps set shallow
and flat and operated so that movement of soil
onto or toward the row is kept to a minimum.
Do not disturb pegs or young pods, but keep mid-
dles free of weeds until vines have almost cov-
ered the ground.
APPLICATION OF GYPSUM
If the calcium level in the soil was found by
test to be inadequate and lime was not applied
or was applied but not thoroughly mixed with the
topsoil, or if the variety is of the Virginia type,
apply agricultural gypsum (landplaster) over the
entire potential pegging zone soon after the plants
begin to bloom freely.
Rate of application of the gypsum should be
600 to 1,000 pounds per acre for Virginia type
peanuts and 400 to 600 pounds per acre for other
CONTROL OF DISEASES AND INSECTS
For control of leafspot, begin dusting with
325-mesh sulfur or copper-sulfur (3.4% copper)
dust when the disease first appears and continue
dusting, at intervals of 10 to 14 days, until two
weeks before harvest time. Use 15 to 20 pounds
per acre for early applications and 20 to 25 pounds
per acre for later applications. If rain washes
off dust within 12 hours after it is applied, re-
peat application as soon as possible.'
For control of insect pests of peanuts use the
Cutworms-20 pounds per acre of 20% toxa-
phene or 10% TDE dust or equivalent amounts of
spray, applied in late afternoon.
Thrips, Leafhoppers, and Velvetbean Cater-
pillars-A leafspot dust (copper or copper sulfur)
containing 10% toxaphene, 5% DDT or 5% Sevin,
at rate of 15 to 25 pounds per acre. Systemic in-
secticide granules for control of thrips may be
applied in the row at planting: 6 to 10 pounds of
10% Di-syston or 10% phorate (thimet) gran-
ules; use low rate on light soils.
Armyworms, Corn Earworm, other Cater-
pillars-20% toxaphene, 10% DDT or 10% Sevin
dust at 10 to 15 pounds per acre. Toxaphene-DDT
combinations are excellent for mixed populations
Do not feed peanut forage treated with DDT,
TDE, or toxaphene to dairy animals or animals
being finished for slaughter.
Start harvesting operations when most of the
pods are filled and as soon as insides of hulls have
turned dark and have begun to exhibit veining,
but before nuts begin to sprout or shed from the
'Leafspot may be controlled by spraying with maneb
(Manzate or Dithane M22) or the copper salts of fatty
and rosin acids (TC-90). If either of these is used, follow
directions on label.
If vine growth is heavy and hay is not to be
saved, use a rotary mower to clip off the top third
of upright varieties and top half of spreading
varieties 2 to 4 days before digging.
Use a sharp digger blade with a very slight
pitch to clip taproots just below the pod zone and
loosen the soil around the peanut plants. Dig,
shake, fill in the furrow and window in as few
separate operations as equipment will permit.
Operate shaker so as to place most of the nuts
clear of the ground and to form a loose, fluffy
window, not more than 30 inches wide. If too
much soil adheres to the plants, re-shake win-
drows while the plants are still in the wilt stage.
Combine nuts from the window as soon as
they will rattle slightly when handled. Adjust
and operate the combine so as to keep trashiness
and cracking of pods to a minimum.
Dry the harvested nuts in a crop drier with an
air flow of not less than 10 cubic feet per minute
per cubic foot of peanuts, at a temperature not in
excess of 100F., until the moisture content of the
shelled seeds has been reduced to 9 percent. Cut
off heat and allow nuts to cool before removing
them from drier. Final moisture content should
not to be below 7 percent.
The nuts may be dried loose or in burlap bags.
If drying in bags, fill them to not more than 75
percent of capacity and crisscross them in the
stack. The total thickness of the layers of bags
or of loose nuts above the floor of the drier should
not exceed 4 feet.
CARE OF HARVESTED NUTS
To reduce the possibility of insect infestation,
use commercially cleaned, fumigated or new bags
for catching peanuts off the combine and haul the
harvested nuts in equipment that is free of old
peanuts, grain, animal feed, etc.
If peanuts are to be held on the farm, even for
a short time, apply an approved protectant to the
nuts as they are placed in clean, insect-free, rat-
Begin hogging-off when the nuts are mature
(see Harvesting above). Seed of Spanish varie-
ties sprout soon if left in the ground after they
reach maturity. Seed of Runner varieties usually
will remain dormant in the ground for several
months after they mature, but hogging-off of
these varieties should be completed by the last of
December. For best results, hogs on peanuts
should be fed a mineral supplement.
ACREAGE, YIELD AND PRODUCTION OF PEANUTS
HARVESTED FOR NUTS IN FLORIDA, BY COUNTIES, 1964*
Acreage** Per Acre Production
County (Acres) (Pounds) (Pounds)
Alachua 1788.5 1,963 3,510,284
Calhoun 1814.2 1,685 3,057,570
Columbia 665.9 1,613 1,074,405
Dixie 29.5 1,352 39,987
Escambia 39.0 756 29,474
Gadsden 875.4 1,294 1,133,053
Gilchrist 312.3 1,113 347,559
Hamilton 68.7 1,336 91,756
Holmes 3030.8 1,201 3,638,721
Jackson 24598.7 1,472 36,207,997
Jefferson 819.8 1,065 872,792
Lafayette 53.1 1,786 94,846
Leon 219.5 1,731 380,042
Levy 2487.0 1,494 3,714,378
Madison 150.3 880 132,299
Marion 2193.9 1,372 3,010,155
Okaloosa 538.5 1,628 876,599
Santa Rosa 5361.4 1,919 10,287,794
Suwannee 1350.3 1,687 2,278,040
Wakulla 375.1 1,170 438,829
Walton 1073.3 1,212 1,301,210
Washington 779.7 1,347 1,050,084
State 48624.9 1,513 73,567,784
* From 1964 ASCS Statistical Report.
** Does not include acreages harvested green for boiling.
This guide was prepared by:
J. R. Henderson, Agronomist, in cooperation with J. R.
Strayer, Assistant Entomologist, R. S. Mullin, Plant
Pathologist, and T. C. Skinner, Agricultural Engineer
First Printing February, 1964
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director