Peanut Crop Update for Virginia

Maturity wise, seasonal heat units accumulated by peanut fields from May 1st to Sep 1st in Virginia are between 2252 to 2376 °F. Therefore, we started a weekly pod maturity determination by the pod mesocarp color of Williams and Drexler (1981). We grouped the pods on a maturity board into white, yellow, orange, brown, and black color groups. The profile maturity classes defines white and yellow as immature, and orange, brown and black as mature pods; orange is defined as incipient maturity, brown full maturity, and black over mature pods. We used Bailey planted on May 5th and May 20th, and CHAMPS planted on May 27. Both Bailey and CHAMPS mature in approximately 145 days after planting or 2600 heat units. Peanut maturity determined on Sep 2nd

Our data indicate that in Virginia all plantings have the majority of the pods, 75 % to 91%, in the yellow and orange color groups (yellow predominates) with more spread for early May plantings (12% were in the white and 13% the brown group) and more uniform pods for late May planting (only 9% were a combination of white and brown).

Appearance wise, peanut vines start showing drought symptoms due to current high temperatures and absence of rainfall in many fields in Virginia. As of now, we are looking at 30 to 40 days to optimum maturity but more delay is expected if no significant rainfall will be soon received and in absence of irrigation.