Peanuts & Precision - How Precision Ag Plays A Vital Role In Peanut Production

Apr 01, 2022

Image of peanuts being harvested from the ground
Peanut production has been a staple of southeastern agriculture for generations. With today’s market conditions, peanuts can no longer be looked at as a rotational crop to get by until the next cotton year. Every peanut acre counts, every year. That’s why, ever since we introduced the AccuField program about a decade ago, we’ve made it a priority to help peanut producers integrate precision ag technology into their operation to increase production and maximize profitability.
Using AccuField’s suite of technology, which includes soil sampling, variable rate fertility prescriptions, satellite imagery and moisture sensors to help guide in-season crop management practices, GreenPoint Ag has set itself apart from the rest of the pack with the way it’s applied precision ag technology on peanut acres. Here’s a closer look at how we leverage our farm-customization capabilities and outstanding customer service skills to help optimize yield potential on your farm.
Soil Samples and Fertility Scripts
Soil sampling has long been one of the most impactful components of our precision program. Our agronomy team performs grid and zone soil sampling in the winter and spring prior to the crop, pulling samples from a depth of 6 inches to measure site-specific soil test levels and evaluate the pH, calcium (Ca), potassium (K), phosphorous (P) and micronutrients available in your peanut fields. If any deficiencies are noted, we help you correct them by using the data to prescribe accurate fertility treatments.
Variable rate lime application is usually a recommended practice for peanut acres. At extremely low or high pH’s, major and minor soil elements can become tied up and are unavailable to the plant. By properly managing pH, the ensuing peanut crop is set up for success. Our growers have also invested in customized peanut fertility plans, with some choosing to do variable rate prescriptions for both phosphorus and potassium. For others, we make a fertilizer blend in-house that can be custom-tailored to your farm’s soil test levels. Any lime or fertilizer recommendations are prescribed to your farm’s budget and yield goals to make them as effective as possible for your operation.
Adequate calcium is a crucial part of our peanut soil sampling program, because deficiencies can result in shell degradation or “pops,” resulting in decreased yield and/or loss on peanut grades. Gypsum is often recommended as a Ca source for peanuts, and since the Ca is readily available, gypsum is applied just before the peanuts start pegging instead of pre-plant. This gives the plant a boost of plant-available calcium at just the right time to ensure they have the levels they need to minimize pops. Some growers choose to apply a flat rate of gypsum, but others pull grid pegging zone samples so they can make a variable rate application.
As much as our soil sample and fertility program helps optimize yield potential on a seasonal basis, it also provides cumulative value. A number of our customers have reported that the amount of variability across their fields has decreased since they began using AccuField’s suite of technologies as well as our grid-sampling program. As a result, some have seen yields improve in the lesser-producing areas of their fields. Plus, their lime inputs have dropped dramatically after 2 or 3 years, and that cost savings has paid for the soil sampling in some cases.
Soil Moisture Sensors
Knowing exactly when to irrigate peanuts has traditionally been a challenge, but we can help you streamline the process by installing soil moisture probes in your fields. These are placed under the pivot and the readings link to an app on your smartphone, allowing you to see how much moisture has infiltrated your soil at any point in time, down to depths of 48 inches. This helps you make an informed decision as to when to turn the water on and off.
All Under the AccuField Umbrella
AccuField’s suite of technologies can impact peanut production positively, but also help you manage your operation as a whole. AccuField is a precision ag program with an easy-to-use web-based interface providing access to farm data from anywhere, anytime via the internet. With AccuField, growers can store information on soil sample results, variable rate applications, crop protection treatments, yield maps, field boundary mapping and reporting, site-specific variety selection and other data management services all in one place. AccuField also communicates seamlessly with 3rd party vendor platforms like MyJohnDeere and Climate FieldView (commonly used to store spray maps on peanut acres).
An excellent recordkeeping tool was recently added that growers can use to document their sustainability efforts. Many of our AccuField growers participate in GreenPoint Ag Sustain, our sustainable farming program that utilizes the Truterra Insights Engine to help identify which fields may qualify for cost-share assistance from organizations like the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and local watershed districts.
If you’re ready to take advantage of precision ag technologies and sustainability opportunities on your peanut acres, reach out to your local GreenPoint Ag specialist. They’ll help you start optimizing your operation’s profitability on day one.

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