“The majority of older Georgia research has shown peanuts generally do better in wider row spacing,” says Scott Tubbs, associate professor and cropping systems agronomist at the University of Georgia/Tifton. “But studies in recent years have demonstrated that peanuts on 30-inch rows, or in twin-row spacing, can perform well.”

From the farmer’s perspective, this provides uniformity in equipment settings and simplification of operations by using the same row spacing across all three crops, he said at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.

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Georgia, which produces about 50 percent of the peanuts in the U.S., has extensive experience and research with the crop — information that has been useful to growers in the Mid-South who have added peanuts to their operations in recent years.

“About five years ago, when cotton acreage was declining in favor of more corn and soybeans, growers were asking if they could produce as many peanuts with 30-inch row spacing as with 36-inch spacing, Tubbs says. “We wanted to address those questions, as well as those about twin-row patterns.”

With 30-inch spaced single rows, he notes, “every 15 feet across the field, starting with the first row, you’re gaining an extra row of peanuts, compared to 36-inch spacing. With this narrower row spacing, you will need to reduce your seeding rate in order to keep total plants per acre uniform.

“With twin rows, we keep the plant population the same, but we take every other plant in a single row spacing and move it to the interior of the bed, while the outside rows maintain a 36-inch row spacing. We’re just taking half of that seed and moving it to the interior of the row.”