Peanut (Virginia)
Coordinated by Hillary Mehl (hlmehl@vt.edu), Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist,
Virginia Tech 
Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC)

Background

Peanuts are an important crop in areas throughout the southeastern United States including Virginia. In 2014, the peanut crop in Virginia alone had a value of over $16 million (36,575 tons at $440/ton; http://www.nass.usda.gov/va). Peanut is a relatively high value crop on a per acre basis, but inputs for controlling diseases can make peanut production cost prohibitive for some growers.

Peanut
Peanut (Arachis hypogea) L.
Brad Haire, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Objective

New tools, including those available in iPIPE that incorporate current information technology and commercially supported weather-based modeling, are needed to improve and disseminate IPM-based disease advisories that include environmental parameters, plant growth, host resistance/susceptibility, and scouting data. 
One of the major goals of the proposed project is to update and improve current disease advisories for peanut in Virginia and the surrounding region (e.g. North Carolina). This will include the use of weather and plant growth modelling to predict disease risk in a manner similar to what is currently provided by the Virginia Peanut-Cotton Infonet.


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Situation

In 2015, it is estimated that nearly 10% of peanut yield potential was lost due to peanut diseases. Control of foliar diseases such as early and late leaf spot and soilborne diseases such as Sclerotinia blight can require up to eight fungicide applications in a single season which are neither economically nor environmentally sustainable. Weather-based disease advisory programs have reduced the number of fungicide sprays required for control of peanut diseases, thereby reducing total fungicide inputs and costs in peanut production. Leaf spot and Sclerotinia advisories provided by Virginia Cooperative Extension (http://webipm.ento.vt.edu/infonet/) are frequently utilized by peanut producers in Virginia as tools for making disease management decisions. However, disease risk is impacted not only by environmental conditions but also by field history and relative disease susceptibility of the peanut cultivar planted in a field.


Important Pests


Early and late leaf spots (Cercospora arachidicola, Cercosporidium 
personatum), Sclerotinia blight (Sclerotinia minor), southern stem rot (Sclerotium rolfsii).

Sclerotium rolfsii
Southern stem rot (Sclerotium rolfsii) Sacc.
Barbara Shew, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.org