What is in this article?:
- Murray Phillips: Peanut Profitability Award winner for Southwest
- Factors for consistent yields
- Peanut harvest
- Consistent yields and attention to production detail earned Phillips the 2013 Farm Press Peanut Profitability Award for the Southwest region.
WORKING UP harvested carrot acreage for peanuts. Sometimes Murray Phillips, Frio County, Texas, will make a carrot crop between corn and peanut production.
Factors for consistent yields
Consistent peanut yields in South Texas depend on several factors —particularly irrigation, fungicide applications, rotation and fertility.
He typically applies about 25 inches of irrigation to peanuts, all from center pivot units.
“I used to have some furrow irrigation, mostly on cotton,” he says. “I plant some dryland wheat on pivot corners to prevent blowing.”
Rotation is typically a two- or three-year break from peanuts, and peanuts almost always follow corn and wheat, but he may get a green bean or carrot crop between the corn and peanut crop.
“Corn works best in rotation,” he says. “By the time peanuts need irrigation, we’re through with corn.” Irrigation and disease control are his two biggest expenses.
He starts fungicide applications at 45 to 50 days after planting and stays on a 14-day schedule through 100 days. He sees some leaf spot, but white mold is his biggest concern. “Leaf spot is not that big a deal — it can be worse later in the fall. Insects are not usually much trouble. We had some whitefly last year and that was unusual.”
He says peanut fertility is a critical factor, but he doesn’t actually fertilize the peanut crop. “I get the fertility on the corn,” he says. “I fertilize it a little more than I should and that carries over to the peanuts. I don’t fertilize peanuts at all. I almost always plant peanuts behind corn, but may plant behind wheat occasionally.”
Sometimes green beans or carrots will precede the peanut crop. “We have had plows running, working harvested green bean or carrot acreage, just two hours ahead of the peanut planter.”