Submitted to: Sod-Based Cropping Systems Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2003
Publication Date: 2/20/2003
Citation: Brenneman, T.B., Timper, P., Minton, N.A., Johnson, A.W. 2003. Comparison of bahiagrass, corn, and cotton as rotational crops for peanut. Proceedings of the Sod Based Cropping Systems Conference, February 20-21, 2003, Quincy, Florida. p. 59-65. Available: http://www.nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/programs/sod_rotation_conf.shtml Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Earlier studies at this and other locations found bahiagrass to be an excellent rotational crop for peanut. Longer rotations are more beneficial, and a study at Tifton showed the benefits of bahiagrass to last through a second year of cropping peanuts. By the third year of peanut, yields were no better than in continuous peanut plots. The primary effect was due to reductions of soilborne peanut diseases, primarily stem rot caused by Sclerotium rolfsii. The benefits of rotation could be partially duplicated by use of flutolanil, a highly effective fungicide for stem rot. An additional study from 1991-1999 compared the rotational benefits of bahiagrass, corn and cotton in a field naturally infested with both Sclerotium rolfsii and Meloidogyne arenaria, the peanut root-knot nematode. Two years of each rotational crop were grown between peanut crops, and there were three sequences of each rotation so that all crops were produced each year. Data starting from the first complete rotation cycle (1993) demonstrated that peanut yields following bahiagrass were higher than following either corn or cotton in five of seven years. Averaged across all years, peanut yield was greater than continuous peanut by 643 kg/ha for Ct-Ct-P, 648 kg/ha for C-C-P and 912 kg/ha for B-B-P. All rotations suppressed stem rot compared to continuous peanut. However, peanut following 2 years of bahiagrass had a significantly lower incidence of stem rot than either the cotton or corn rotations in 5 of 7 years. Averaged across all years, the incidence of stem rot per ft-row was 28 for P-P-P, 19 for C-C-P and Ct-Ct-P, and 12 for B-B-P. Root galling from M. arenaria was low to moderate throughout the study. Gall indices were greater following 2 years of bahiagrass than following the other rotations. The B-B-P rotation was expected to suppress M. arenaria because bahiagrass, like cotton, is a nonhost for this nematode. The nematode may have reproduced on weed hosts, which were numerous in the bahiagrass plots the first year after planting, but were virtually eliminated by the second year when the bahiagrass became more densely established. Overall, bahiagrass is an excellent rotational crop for peanut resulting in superior yields and reduced stem rot as compared to corn or cotton.