Tips for Groundnut Cultivation

How to increase my groundnut yields through best practices in groundnut cultivation?

As a groundnut-farmer, I have 3 things to keep in mind to get higher yields of groundnut:

  • Selection of a good groundnut variety
  • Plant nutrition for groundnuts
  • Crop protection measures

Groundnut cultivation in India

Groundnut is an important oilseed crop in India containing 45 to 51 % oil and 26 % protein in its seeds. Kernels are eaten as raw, roasted or as additives in confectionery. Nuts are a good source of minerals and vitamins A, B and E, arginine, foliate and copper. Roots contain nitrogen fixing bacteria and growing Groundnut crop improves your soil health. Groundnut crop is grown in rainfed kharif and irrigated rabi and summer seasons. A temperature of 25℃ - 30℃ is very suitable for this crop. Yields are affected by cloudy weather during kharif season because of high pests and diseases. Annual rainfall of 450 to 1250 mm is needed for its survival.

Light alluvial, red sandy loamy soils are suitable for cultivation of groundnut as it suits for easy pegging and pod formation. Management of optimum pH is required for the availability of nutrients in the soil to the crop. Removal of crop residues is mandatory otherwise soil borne fungus may damage the next crop.

Plough the soil up to a depth of 15-20 cm until fine tilth and pulverized to make it free from clods. Groundnut can be sown on wide ridges or flat beds. Groundnut can also be sown in soils with 0.4-0.8 % slope with wide ridges and furrows to drain the water during the period of heavy rainfall and suitable for inter cultivation practices.

Selection of groundnut varieties

Varieties that are high yielding with high resistance to pests and diseases should be selected. It is also important to select varieties of short duration to overcome drought spells in semi-arid places. Suitable varieties across states and different agroclimatic zones are available at Plantix.

It is very important to choose certified seeds from trusted companies if self stored seeds are not available. Germination test should be conducted before one week of sowing and seeds with above 90 % gemination should be used for sowing. If the germination percentage is less, higher seed rate should be determined according to the germination percentage.

Groundnut Seed rate: Seed rate varies depending upon the weight of the seed and sowing time from 75 to 110 kg per acre.

Groundnut Seed treatment: Seed treatment with 1g. of Tebuconazole 2 D.S or 3g. of Mancozeb and Trichoderma viridae. In the areas with high prevalence of peanut stem necrosis disease, the seeds should be treated with 2ml of Imidacloprid per kg of seed. If the infestation of white grub is more in your areas then seed treatment with 2ml of Imidacloprid per kg of seed should be taken up. If you are taking up groundnut cultivation in rice fallows or in virgin soils, groundnut seeds need to be inoculated with rhizobium culture. In areas where collar rot, stem rot, root rot diseases are prevalent, the seeds should be treated with Trichoderma viride at 4g/kg seed. It is vital that the seeds should be treated first with insecticide, then they must be shade dried and later treated with fungicide. At last seeds can also be inoculated with Rhizobium, if necessary.

Groundnut Sowing: Adequate amount of moisture should be present in the soil at the time of sowing. Utilizing a tractor mounted seed drill will aid in sowing large areas in a short period of time and also saves expensive money incurred for labour.

Time of Sowing: The best time to sow groundnut varies from place to place.

Best Soils for Groundnut Cultivation

sandy loam soils are well suitable and can be grown in chalka soils and red sandy loam soils. Soils with more organic matter and pH range of 6.0-7.5 are best suitable for cultivation of groundnut. High clay content and heavy black soils are not suitable for cultivating groundnut crops.

Groundnut Soil & Nutrient Management

4-5 tons/acre of fully decomposed organic manure should be applied in the last ploughing operation. Fertilizers dose vary from rainfed to irrigated conditions and various ICAR/ Universities recommended fertilizer dose can be followed by local farmers. If you have undertaken seed treatment with Rhizobium and soil application of phosphorous solubilizing bacteria (PSB) then your chemical fertilizer requirements can be reduced.

Under irrigated conditions, 200 kg/acre gypsum should be applied at the flowering stage in between the rows. Weeding and earthing up should also be carried out after the application of gypsum. In rainfed situations, gypsum should be applied at the time of peg penetration (45 days after sowing) i.e., at the time of second weeding. No intercultural operations should be carried out after 45 after sowing (DAS) DAS. The fertilizers and manures can be broadcasted uniformly in the field.

Micronutrients play a vital role in plant growth. Application of born at 3-4 kg/ha during land preparation and zinc at 10-20 kg/h once in three years has found to be effective to increased yields of groundnut.

Farm site specific fertilizers and manure application should be followed by farmers if they know the nutrient status of their soils as provided in their soil health cards.

Groundnut weed management and intercultural operations.

Groundnut crop does not have the ability to compete with weeds for 3-6 weeks after sowing, therefore removal of weeds is critical in the initial days, however weeding need not be taken up after 45 DAS. Chemical weed control practices should be taken done with the label claim herbicides (Alachlor 50 % @ 1 lit/acre (or) pendimethalin 30 % @ 1.3-1.6 lit/acre or butachlor 50 % 1.25-1.5 lit/acre that can be mixed with 200 liters of water and applied immediately after sowing or within 2-3 days after sowing as a pre-emergence application.

Within 21 DAS, when the weeds are in 2-3 leaf stage, and if pre emergence herbicides are not applied, Imazethapyr 10 % @ 300 ml/acre (or) Quizalofop ethyl 5 % @ 400 ml/acre should be mixed with 200 liters of water and applied on the weeds in between the rows. Inter cultivation can be taken up after 20, 25 DAS with hand-held implements like gorru. After 45 days of crop growth, no intercultural operations must be taken up as it will disturb the peg formation leading to a loss in the yield.

Groundnut irrigation management

Groundnut needs 400-450mm of water. When it is grown under light soils, 8-9 irrigations are required. Peg penetration (40-45 DAS) and pod development (85-90 DAS) are the critical stages that require irrigation if available. Irrigation through sprinklers allows saving the water up to 25 % and also increases the yields.

For insect pests and diseases, please refer to Plantix for management.