Start Date: Jun 07, 2006
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
The effectiveness of most production practices is evaluated at harvest by examining final yield. However, an understanding of the mechanisms that drive these final yield numbers is vital in determining the efficacy of production strategies and technologies. Most causal mechanisms are physiologically based; therefore, an examination of the physiological response to the production environment can help determine how production practices succeed or fail. Research will be conducted to investigate and improve the understanding of the physiological responses to environment, climate, and production practices that ultimately determine peanut yield and quality. Major emphasis will be directed towards examining the effects of irrigation type and amount on peanut physiological water use and evaluating water-use efficiency under varying water environments. Emphasis will also be placed on plant and kernel susceptibility to aflatoxin contamination and tomato spotted wilt virus, and their effects on water use and other plant and kernel physical characteristics. A quality natural resource base is a vital factor in the viability of rural economies to sustain agricultural productivity. Available water supply is being stretched by rapidly growing demands for water by urban populations, irrigated agriculture, industry/energy sectors, and in-stream flow requirements. The dilemma for producers and local economies is finding solutions that help reduce irrigation and natural resource consumption while at the same time maintaining and or enhancing producer net returns.