2018–19 summer: Peanuts on grey soil, Bundaberg
Grower: Chapman Family. Tony has grown peanuts on and off for the past 18 years and does his own crop monitoring with the help of his son Mitch. Agronomic support is provided by consultant Peter Hatfield.
Farming system: The Chapmans run all farming operations, including the peanuts, under a controlled traffic and zonal tillage system. They follow a 5-year rotation of plant cane + 3 ratoons followed by either peanut or soybean, then field pea before returning to plant cane in spring.
The Chapmans are keen to use cover crops ahead of planting their summer legume. Having previously tried tillage radish with good results, this year they have tried a multi-species cover crop ahead of this peanut crop.
Location: Calavos, Bundaberg
Monitored area: 11.5 ha, irrigated block, grey soil
- 26 June 2018 – cane harvested. Stool removed using zonal tillage to cultivate a 1.2 m bed.
- 3 July 2018 – Multi-species cover crop of sunflower, tillage radish, barley and field pea planted by broadcasting. Good germination achieved, even up to 50% germination in uncultivated wheel tracks. Good moisture storage for the peanut crop to follow.
- 8 September 2018 – sprayed out cover crop using knockdown herbicides RoundUp and 2,4-D.
- Lime and dolomite broadcast before planting peanuts.
Multi-species cover crop of sunflower, tillage radish, barley and field pea.
- 7 November 2018 – Kiari peanuts direct drilled into beds at a sowing rate of 160 000 seeds per ha.
- Good moisture retained from cover crop. Double row beds sown 685 mm apart under controlled traffic system with wheel spacings 1.83 m.
- Seed inoculated at planting using water injection of group P peanut inoculant.
- Recommended fertiliser blend also applied at planting.
- 9 November 2018 – post-planting application of knockdown (Gramoxone) and residual (Dual Gold) herbicides to control ratoons, cover crop survivors and other existing weeds.
- 12 November 2018 – low pressure overhead irrigation. Good moisture at depth.
- Late November – zinc, gypsum, urea and sodium molybdate applied together.
- 13 December 2018 – chlorothalonil fungicide (Barrack 720) applied as protective control of leaf spot and rust.
- 24 December 2018 – manganese sulphate and magnesium nitrate applied.
- 29 December 2018 – second application of Barrack 720, with Solubor.
- Crop is flowering well and plants are healthy.
- 1 January 2019 – a Verdict herbicide application was made to control grass weeds.
- 3 January 2019 – low pressure overhead irrigation.
- Tony plans to apply Flame herbicide for broadleaf and nutgrass control and to continue monitoring for heliothis to act with a Vivus Max application when necessary.
- Post-emergence and pre-emergent herbicide application of Flame and Blazer with Hasten to control ratooning cane, emerged broadleaf and grass weeds and nutgrass.
- Evidence of herbicide burn from the use of Blazer on peanut leaves and a very small amount of chew damage on leaves, otherwise a healthy-looking crop.
- Flowers are still present.
- Pegs about 80–90 mm long were observed.
- Tony has scheduled an irrigation in the coming week as well as another application of Barrack 720 (chlorothalonil) fungicide for protective measures against leaf spot and rust.
- Ratooning cane sprayed with post-emergence herbicide 2 weeks ago is dying off.
- Small amount of chew damage on older leaves.
- Flowering has slowed but new flowers are still evident.
- Row closure within the bed has occured across about 80% of the field.
- The crop is generally healthy however yellowing of new leaves was observed in majority of the block, suggested to be because they emerged soon after an irrigation.
- The block was irrigated this week and Barrack 720 fungicide was applied.
- Soil moisture level will be closely monitored and another irrigation applied if necessary in the coming week.
Slight yellowing of new leaves following irrigation.
- Crop was observed to have spotting on leaves that resembled leaf spot disease, as well as large clusters of aphids (suspected cowpea) on the unrooted, developing pegs.
- Flowering has mostly ceased.
- Peanut pods are beginning to develop.
- The peanut canopy is continuing to fill in the space between rows.
- An irrigation was made over the last week
- The coming week will focus mainly on moisture levels and making another irrigation if necessary and will apply Amistar Xtra to treat the leaf disease present.
Suspected leaf spot.
- Crop appears green and healthy. The canopy is covering the entire bed in approximately 95% of the block.
- The Amistar Xtra applied last week seems to have reversed the signs of leaf spot, with only a small number of plants showing symptoms within the block. It was also confirmed by agronomist Peter Hatfield that white rot is not an issue in this block, but more likely to be a saprophytic fungus living in the decaying trash and not affecting peanut production.
- Minor leaf damage observed caused by heliothis, some monolepta beetles is also evident in hotspots, but control is not warranted at this point.
- Peanut pods are developing nicely with some quite large for their age. Peanuts inside are approximately the size of a pinky fingernail on average.
- An irrigation was made over the last week with an application of Vivus Max mixed with molasses scheduled this week to finish off the block.
- Phasey bean has also been hand-weeded from the block over the last week. Tony is not as worried about the effect they have on peanuts but removes them so that their seeds won’t contaminate soybean samples if he decides to plant soybeans after the peanuts.
- Another application of Barrack 720 protective fungicide is scheduled this week with the hope that this could be the final application, weather permitting.
- Crop is green and healthy with good canopy cover. The trash cover in the interrow is good and there are no weed issues occurring in the crop or in wheel tracks.
- Minor leaf damage observed caused by heliothis and/or monolepta in spots. A Vivus Max application with molasses was applied last week and no control measures scheduled for monolepta yet.
- Peanut pods are developing nicely with some of the bigger pods measuring 4 cm. The peanuts developing inside were approximately 1 cm in length.
- On 7 February an irrigation was being made over the block.
- Few insect pests were identified including little to no aphids on the developing unrooted pegs, which had been seen in previous weeks.
- A moderate population of ladybugs were observed including a small number of pupae and hatched pupae shells. These bugs in all their stages are predators to aphids and hence may be occurring in large numbers due to the previously observed aphid infestation.
- Another application of Barrack 720 protective fungicide was applied this week.
Peanut pods are developing nicely with some of the bigger pods measuring 4 cm. The peanuts developing inside were approximately 1 cm in length.
- Peanuts are looking good. Watch for Heliothis and Monolepta which are present in other areas.
- Irrigation is important now to avoid moisture stress. The crop is filling pods so adequate moisture is essential.