With 30-inch or twin rows, there is a significant difference in how quickly full canopy closure occurs versus 36-inch rows, Tubbs says. “You have fewer days to lapping with the narrower rows — which can be a benefit in weed control, plus reduction in surface soil temperature and aid in maintaining soil moisture in hot years. In some of our trials, it took almost a week longer to lap the middles with 36-inch rows.

“With the narrower rows in 2010, we also had less tomato spotted wilt virus, although in other years, there was no statistical difference in incidence of this disease. We did have a better stand with twin rows than either of the single row spacings.

“Looking at three years of yield data, results were mixed. In one year, 30-inch single rows yielded better than anything else in the trial; in another year, the twin rows yielded better; and in the third year, there was essentially no difference.

“We have graduate students focusing on this, and we hope to get additional data on which to base recommendations.”

Bottom line, Tubbs says: “For peanut growers who also have corn and soybeans, we feel you can do very well with 30-inch row spacing or twin rows. One concern we have with narrow rows, when you start digging and inverting peanuts there’s a greater chance for them to roll back over after being inverted. You need to be sure equipment is set properly to avoid this.”