Unless a peanut stand is really poor — one plant per row foot or less in single rows, and 2.25 plants per foot in twin rows — replanting is rarely profitable, says Jason Sarver, Mississippi Extension peanut agronomist. 

Supplemental seeding in a sparse stand can sometimes show an advantage over a poor stand, he said at the annual conference of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association, but in most cases the most practical thing with a less-than-ideal stand is to give it careful management through the season.

“Stand establishment is critical for a successful peanut program,” he says. “Based on my research in Georgia over the last three years, we need 3 plants per foot on single rows, or 3.75 plants per foot on twin rows in order to maintain yield potential.

“In those trials, destroying an initial poor stand and completely replanting was never a viable option. If you decide to replant, supplemental seeding  — moving the planter over and adding a reduced rate of seed — is usually the best way to go.

“Although adding seed to the initial stand costs less than completely replanting, the biggest potential negative is that multiple planting dates will result in plants with varying maturity within the same field. This can pose problems when deciding when to harvest, as plants from both the initial and later planting dates must be considered and balanced.”

In the complete replanting scenario, he says, “You have increased costs in destroying the stand and the cost of planting a full rate of seed a second time. And you end up planting late. Recent data from Georgia show that, on average, yield potential begins to drop after May 10.

“So, if you originally planted May 10 and have only 1-1/2 plants per foot, and you don’t make the call to replant until the end of May, the question you have to ask is, are you better off with the original 1-1/2 plants from the May 10 planting or with a potential full stand by replanting May 31?

“Based on what we saw in the Georgia studies, unless we had a stand below 1 plant per foot in single rows or 2.25 plants per foot in twin rows, there was no statistical advantage from either supplemental seeding or total replanting.