This is an accepted article with a DOI pre-assigned that is not yet published.
Large-seeded virginia market type peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) cultivars are common in Virginia and North Carolina, but cost more to plant than runner market type peanut cultivars when the goal is to establish the same plant population. Decreasing seeding density could help growers to reduce production costs, as long as thinner stands do not negatively impact yield and economic return. Selecting the optimum digging time is a decision that could significantly influence growers' production and economics. Field experiments were conducted in Virginia and North Carolina at four site-year environments in 2016 and 2017 to examine the influence of seeding density (109, 143, 180, and 200 thousand seeds/ha) and digging date (130, 140, and 150 days after planting [DAP]) on virginia type peanut cultivar (Bailey, Sullivan, Wynne) performance. Regardless of cultivar and digging date, the greatest pod yield (5930 kg/ha) was achieved from the 200 thousand seeds/ha density, but the 143 thousand seeds/ha density had the highest economic return ($2990/ha). At three of the four site-years, the 140 DAP digging date, i.e. 1400 to 1600 C growing degree days (GDD), produced the greatest pod yield (5470 kg/ha) and had the highest economic return ($2750/ha). While individual site-years should be monitored for digging date, growers should be prepared to dig the currently available cultivars from 1400 to no more than 1600 C accumulated GDD.
Keywords: peanut, digging date, growth degree days