Diamond Planting Design for Peanut Crops
February 8, 2008
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agronomists
Sorensen at the National Peanut Research Laboratory (NPRL)
in Dawson, Ga., are adapting farm planting equipment to plant runner-type
peanuts in a diamond formation.
This planting regimen has been found to increase yield and improve disease
management in runner-type peanuts, compared to the single-row planting method
often used by peanut farmers. This work was begun by former NPRL agricultural
engineer Don Sternitzke.
In a diamond formation, each 3-foot-wide planting bed has four equidistant
rows, with six seeds planted per foot. Spacing plants in this uniform,
staggered manner has been found to reduce plant-to-plant competition and
achieve canopy closure sooner, helping keep the soil cool and moist.
Now the researchers are testing the diamond planting scheme with a different
type of peanut. In a new three-year study, conducted with Naveen Puppala and
Sangu Angadi of New Mexico State University,
researchers are using a more erect growing peanut type, the Valencia.
Valencia's upright growth habit may make this peanut type more amenable to
the diamond planting arrangement than vine-like varieties grown in Georgia.
According to Nuti, Valencia peanuts don't achieve row closure like runners do,
especially when planted in single rows. However, in the diamond planting
configuration the crop has a better chance to out-compete weeds, thus reducing
early competition for water, nutrients, and light.
In first-year data collected, it appears several populations of diamond
planting are equal in yield and profit to a twin-row configuration, and both
diamond and twin-row configurations produce higher yields than does the
conventional single row. It is apparent that higher seed input in twin row and
diamond patterns increased yield and profit, according to Nuti.
more about this research in the February 2008 issue of Agricultural
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.