Source: Agricultural Research Service
A combination of conservation tillage and deficit irrigation management in peanut production can promote conservation of water during the early growing season without hurting yields, an Agricultural Research Service scientist reports.
That's good news for peanut farmers in the Southern High Plains, where water is often in short supply, particularly in areas where residential development has increased demands for water. Irrigation also adds to the cost of production for growers.
Deficit irrigation, or forced drought, early in the growing season appears to result in quicker maturation while maintaining yields, according to ARS agronomist Wilson Faircloth at the National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., and plant physiologist Diane Rowland, formerly with NPRL and now with Texas A&M University. They conducted a five-year field trial in West Texas to determine the effects of deficit irrigation. More recently, they've also studied how conservation tillage can help boost peanut production.