This year’s peanut yields in Georgia was among the state’s highest, but University of Georgia peanut agronomist Scott Monfort fears that next year’s crop will be vulnerable to increased disease pressure.
November 2015 was one of the 10 wettest, warmest Novembers on record for Georgia. Some areas of the state received as much as 10 inches more rain than is normal, and temperatures were generally 3 to 7 degrees above normal.
Georgia peanut farmers can’t control rainfall or the recent deluge the state received over the last week. They can, however, control how much water they apply to their crops through irrigation. A University of Georgia researcher believes applying too much water to peanuts can invite diseases and reduce yields.
In a time of public debate over the effectiveness and safety of genetically modified foods, it’s hard to picture the era before crop breeders developed grain varieties that could withstand drought and common diseases.