Peanut, Ground nut, Monkey nut or Moongfali is very famous for its protein value. It occupies a prominent place in the list of oil seed crops in India. Mostly grown in tropical and sub tropical regions, Peanut cultivation is widely carried by small scale as well as large scale farmers. Production wise, China holds the top place in the world production with 38% followed by India with 15%. In India, Gujarat has the highest rate of peanut production followed by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at 4th and 9th place respectively.
Climate and Soil Type
- In India Peanut cultivation is carried as both Kharif and Rabi crops and mostly hot and humid climate is appropriate for its cultivation.
- Coming to soil, light and sandy loam soils are considered as best for its growth. Apart from these, soils containing a pH range of 6 to 7 are also best suited for its cultivation.
- Land should be ploughed 3 to 4 times with a depth of 15 to 16 cm to a fine tilth.
- Prepare the beds depending up on the water facility and type of the land. Usually these beds are of size 10 to 20 square meters.
- At the final stage of land preparation, apply 5 to 6 tons of natural compost or manure per hectare. For applying lime, pre soil test is necessary before sowing the seeds.
- In this regard, farmers need expert advice to treat the seeds with necessary bio control agents.
- If seed treatment is not carried, then treat the seeds with 25 kilograms of natural manure with the same amount of soft soil before sowing.
- However, treating the seeds with necessary chemicals will ensure the prevention of root rot and collar rot infection in young seedlings.
Sowing the seeds
- Following a row space of 30 cm and plant space of 10 cm, the seeds are dibbled in to the soil at a depth of 5 cm.
- The seed rate depends on the soil type, usually 125 kilograms of kernels are required per hectare. If the seeds are of bold type increase them by 15 to 20%.
- Applying of fertilizers depends on the soil type, hence soil test is recommended to ensure proper mixing of fertilizers.
- If fertilizer test is not carried, experts suggest to apply the mixture of 25 kg nitrogen, 20 kg phosphorous, 75 kg potash with 60 kg mud sulphur per hectare.
- For better germination it is advised to irrigate the land before sowing the seeds itself. If not, you can also irrigate the land after sowing the seeds.
- Depending up on the soil type and weather conditions, the field should be irrigated with an interval of two weeks.
- At the flowering stage two irrigations are must where as at the pegging stage, one or two irrigations are required based on the soil type.
- Weeds are the main threat for the growth of the peanuts. Especially these are more affective during the first two months.
- At an average these weeds cost more than 1/4th of the yield, so chemically or mechanically necessary preventive weeding measures have to be taken to eradicate this problem.
- Apart from weeds, seedling blight and stem rot are the most commonly occurring diseases. There are several control measures to overcome these diseases, but expert advice is necessary to follow these measures.
- When the leaves become older, they turn in to yellow and fall down indicating that the nuts are ready to harvest.
- At this stage, take out some crops and observe that the nut shells turned in to brown or not. If they are white, then they are not ready yet.
- At an average, the crop yields 8 to 10 quintals of peanuts per acre.