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Good agronomic practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Design, Layout & Print

PROLOGUE
m e d i a l t d

Training manual for Trainers

Good agronomic practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Training manual for Trainers


2011

Editor: Daniel Nyambok Co-editor: John Robins Oyia Coordination and co-editor: Flavio Braidotti

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2.5 Italy License. To view a copy of this license, visit: http://www.cefaonlus.it/biblioteca/biblioteca.asp

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................... 1 1. Introductions ........................................................................................................................................... 2 1.1 The groundnut crop ....................................................................................................................... 2 2. Ecological requirements ...................................................................................................................... 5 2.1 Climate ............................................................................................................................................... 5 2.2 Soils ..................................................................................................................................................... 5 3. Field establishment ............................................................................................................................... 5 3.1 Land preparation ........................................................................................................................... 5 3.2 Line planting/ridges establishment ........................................................................................ 5 4. Planting ...................................................................................................................................................... 6 4.1 Seed selection ................................................................................................................................. 6 4.2 Seed dressing .................................................................................................................................. 6 4.3 Dormancy ......................................................................................................................................... 6 4.4 Time of planting ............................................................................................................................. 6 4.5 Sowing ............................................................................................................................................... 7 4.6 Spacing .............................................................................................................................................. 7 4.7 Fertilizer ............................................................................................................................................. 8 4.8 Rotation ............................................................................................................................................. 8 5. Weeding ..................................................................................................................................................... 9 5.1 Timing ................................................................................................................................................ 9 5.2 Weeding by hand ........................................................................................................................... 9 5.3 Using chemicals .............................................................................................................................. 9 6. Main Groundnut Diseases ................................................................................................................... 10 6.1 Groundnut rosette disease ........................................................................................................ 10 6.2 Leaf spot ............................................................................................................................................ 10 6.3 Rust ...................................................................................................................................................... 11 6.4 Groundnut Blight ........................................................................................................................... 12 6.5 Peanut Clump Virus (PCV) ........................................................................................................... 12 6.6 Peanut Mottle Virus (PMV) ............................................................................................................... 12 7. Main Groundnut Pests .......................................................................................................................... 13 7.1 Aphids ................................................................................................................................................ 13 7.2 Groundnut leaf miner ................................................................................................................... 13 7.3 Termites ............................................................................................................................................. 14 7.4 Groundnut Hopper ....................................................................................................................... 14 7.5 Millipedes ......................................................................................................................................... 14 7.6 White Grubs ..................................................................................................................................... 14 7.7 Nematodes ....................................................................................................................................... 15 7.8 Thrips .................................................................................................................................................. 15 7.9 Caterpillars ........................................................................................................................................ 16 8. Harvesting ................................................................................................................................................. 16 8.1 Timing ................................................................................................................................................ 16 8.2 Indicators for harvesting time ................................................................................................... 17 8.3 Hand lifting ...................................................................................................................................... 17 8.4 Hand lifting with a hoe or fork .................................................................................................. 17 8.5 Cleaning ............................................................................................................................................ 17 8.6 Drying ................................................................................................................................................ 17 8.6.1 The importance of drying .................................................................................................... 17 8.6.2 Drying in windrows ................................................................................................................. 18

8.6.3 Drying on mats .......................................................................................................................... 18 8.6.4 Strippingwinnowing ............................................................................................................. 18 9. Storage ....................................................................................................................................................... 19 9.1 Storage Requirements ................................................................................................................. 19 9.2 How to test moisture content in grain ................................................................................... 19 9.3 Temperature ..................................................................................................................................... 19 9.4 Storage hygiene ............................................................................................................................. 20 9.5 Quality guard .................................................................................................................................. 20 9.6 Storage methods ........................................................................................................................... 20 9.6.1 In bags .......................................................................................................................................... 20 9.6.2 Other methods .......................................................................................................................... 20 9.7 Ways of protecting stored grains ............................................................................................. 20 9.7.1 Contact treatments for unshelled groundnuts ............................................................. 20 9.7.2 Fumigation .................................................................................................................................. 21 9.7.3 Physical and mechanical methods ..................................................................................... 21 10. Shelling .................................................................................................................................................... 21 10.1 Hand Shelling ............................................................................................................................. 21 10.2 Mechanical shelling .................................................................................................................. 22 11. Common storage pests ..................................................................................................................... 22 11.1 Mites ................................................................................................................................................. 22 11.2 Insects .............................................................................................................................................. 22 11.3 Rodents ........................................................................................................................................... 23 12. Critical microbiological problems in groundnuts .................................................................... 23 12.1 Fungi ................................................................................................................................................ 23 12.2 Aflatoxins ........................................................................................................................................ 23 12.3 Salmonella ..................................................................................................................................... 24 13. Quality and marketing ....................................................................................................................... 24 13.1 General characteristics of good quality groundnuts ...................................................... 24 14. Utilization of groundnut ................................................................................................................... 25 15. Gross margin analysis.......................................................................................................................... 27 Summary ....................................................................................................................................................... 28 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................................. 30

List of Tables
Table 1 Groundnut Varieties found in South Nyanza (Western Kenya) ................................... 3 Table 2 Gross margin per acre of groundnuts in South Nyanza (Western Kenya) ............... 27 Table 3 General stages of development of groundnut and recommended practices (for long duration varieties)...................................................................................................... 28 Table 4 General stages of development of groundnut and recommended practices (for short duration varieties) .................................................................................................... 29

List of Figures
Fig 1 Recommended spacing groundnut Runner and Bunch varieties .................................. 7 Fig 2 Application of Fertilizer .................................................................................................................. 8 Fig 3 Groundnut plants infected by rosette disease ...................................................................... 10 Fig 4 a Early leaf spot ................................................................................................................................. 11 Fig 4b Late leaf spot .................................................................................................................................. 11 Fig 5 Groundnut plant affected by rusts disease ............................................................................ 11 Fig 6 Groundnut plant affected by Blight disease .......................................................................... 12 Fig 7 Groundnut plant infested with aphids .................................................................................... 13 Fig 8 Groundnut leaf infested with leaf minor ................................................................................ 13 Fig 9 Termite damaging groundnut field .......................................................................................... 14 Fig 10a Enlarged picture of a thrip ....................................................................................................... 15 Fig 10b Damage caused by thrips on groundnut leaves ............................................................. 15 Fig 11 Caterpillar and its damage on groundnut leaves .............................................................. 16 Fig 12 Symptoms of Aspergillus flavus which produces aflatoxin contamination ............ 24

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Acknowledgement
This manual was prepared during the implementation of the EU-funded project called Strengthening Product Value Chain of Agro Business Enterprises in South Nyanza (2009-2012) implemented and co-funded by CEFA in partnership with C-MAD. The generous financial support provided by the European Union to implement this project and to enable this manual to be produced is highly appreciated and acknowledged. Particular thanks to the Field Officers who contributed to the preparation of this manual: Ms Nohla Achieng Onyuna, Ms Ednah Anyango Okello, Mr Kennedy Ogoma. Thanks to Marco Dalla Costa for his tireless work in processing and editing the pictures of different varieties of groundnut taken in the field during the period that he worked voluntarily as intern in the above mentioned project. Special thanks to the Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) in Homabay and particularly to its Principal, Erick Odhiambo Adel, for his feedback and for significant help in the preparation of the gross margin analysis.

Acknowledgement

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

1. Introduction
Groundnut is a self-pollinated, tropical annual legume which is fairly drought resistant and mainly cultivated in dry tropical areas. It has the advantage of generating residual nitrogen in the soil which benefits subsequent crops, especially when groundnut residues are incorporated into the soil during ploughing. Despite the high local demands for groundnuts, farmers yields in South Nyanza continue to be low, averaging 250kg/acre of dry shelled seeds. In western Kenya, the crop is not only the principal source of protein but also a major source of small-holder cash income. However, groundnut production has continued to decline with farmers realizing less than 50% of the yield potential. This manual provides information on good management practices for groundnut production such as proper timing of activities, proper spacing, use of quality seed, weeding, control of diseases and pests, harvesting, drying and storage. Adopting such practices would help increase groundnut crop production considerably. Opportunities for developing and adopting better technologies provide a possible solution for raising productivity and improving efficiency.

Introd uc tion

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

1.1 The groundnut crop


There are two main types of groundnut crop. The bunch and the runner and this describe their growth habits. Bunch varieties mature in 60 - 75 days and runner varieties mature in 90 100 days. The runner varieties therefore require a longer growing season.

Table 1 - Groundnut Varieties found in South Nyanza (Western Kenya)


Name Characteristics Family name Photo

ICGV07

Colour: Red Size: Big Maturity period: Medium (3/3.5 Virginia months) Usage: good for roasted peanuts

ICGV12988

Colour: Red Size: small Maturity period: Virginia Early (2/2.5 months) Usage: good for roasted peanuts

Source (for pictures): Marco Dalla Costa (2010)

ICGV 12991

Colour: Brown Size: very big Maturity period: Medium (3/3.5 months) Runner Other: very tasty Usage: roasted peanuts and boiled peanuts

Intro duc tio n

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Name

Characteristics

Family name

Photo

Homa bay local

Colour: Brown Size: Big Maturity period: Late (3.5/4 Runner months) Usage: good for both peanut butter and roasted peanuts

Colour: Brown Size: very big Maturity period: Medium (3/3.5 Hybrid months) Runner variety Other: very (Gianda) tasty Usage: roasted peanuts and boiled peanuts Colour: Brown Size: medium Maturity period: Medium (3/3.5 months) Virginia Other: skin is wrinkled Usage: good for both peanut butter and roasted peanuts

Source (for pictures): Marco Dalla Costa (2010)

SM 99568

Intro duc ti on

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

2. Ecological requirements
2.1 Climate
The optimum temperatures for growing groundnuts range from 25C to 35C. Cooler temperatures, especially at night, prolong the growing cycle. Groundnuts are slightly sensitive to photoperiod. Although groundnut is drought tolerant, good performance is strongly linked to adequate soil water content at sowing time, followed by well-distributed rainfall. Early maturing small-seeded varieties require 300-500 mm while the medium to late maturing large-seeded varieties need 1000-1200 mm rainfall.

2.2 Soils
All soils, other than very heavy, are suitable for growing groundnut, but the best are deep, well drained sandy, sandy loam soils. The latter facilitate the forcing of the developing fruit into the soil (pegging). Groundnut will not grow well or fix nitrogen in acidic or infertile soils. The soils should have a pH between 5.3 and 7.3. Groundnut plants are sensitive to salinity, and high soil acidity (pH<5) could induce magnesium or aluminium toxicity. In this type of soil, calcium should be added to maintain the pH above 6.

3. Field establishment
3.1 Land preparation
Good land preparation provides suitable soil conditions for rapid and uniform germination, good root penetration and growth, and steady pod development. Land should be prepared early, before the rains start, so that sowing can take place early in the rains. All previous crop residues and weeds should be completely removed or buried, and seed beds should be smooth to provide good soil-to-seed contact after sowing. For farmers who use tractors, deep turn the soil to bury residue and weeds; in case of disc plough, turn the soil 34 weeks before planting.

Ecol ogic al r equir em en ts/ Fie ld es tablishment

3.2 Line planting/ridges establishment


In wetter areas or with heavier soils, fields must be ploughed at the beginning of the season to suppress weeds and break up the soil, which must then be refined by harrowing. With this soil type, raised-beds are often made to limit run-off or

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

water logging. If groundnut is to be grown on ridges, the ridges should be made at or just before sowing, and should be flat-topped. If the soil is dry when the ridges are being made, a light rolling after ridging will help make the seedbed firm and they should be flat-topped.

4. Planting
4.1 Seed selection
Pods should be shelled 12 weeks before sowing and only good quality seed should be selected for sowing. Groundnut pods intended for sowing should be shelled first (hand or though Sheller) and then sorted in order to eliminate skinned, immature, mouldy, and small seeds. Seeds are then treated with an insecticide/fungicide mixture to control seedling blights caused by soil bacteria and fungi. The fungicide will control soil pests that damage seedlings.

4.2 Seed dressing


To control seedling blights caused by soil bacteria and fungi, and also other fungal diseases, a fungicide treatment is recommended. Thiram gives good protection and can be applied as a dust at 120 g of thiram/100 kg of seed. The dust must be uniformly mixed with the seed.

4.3 Dormancy
It is important to be aware that some varieties of groundnut seed require a period of dormancy between harvesting and sowing generally long maturing varieties require at least 1-2months dormancy period e.g. Homabay local.

4.4 Time of planting


The planting date is difficult to standardize. However, farmers should plant as soon as there is adequate moisture in the ground to ensure good germination. In general, groundnuts are planted between February and April during the first season and in early August for the second season. Planting in the first two weeks after the onset of rains is considered suitable. Planting early in the season helps to improve yields and seed quality, and reduce the incidence of rosette disease. Long duration varieties should only be planted with the first rains in the first season. Short duration varieties can be planted in either season.

Plantin g

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

4.5 Sowing
Planting date is linked to rainfall distribution in the area and length of the crop season. Soil moisture must be sufficient to guarantee good germination. Seeds must not be sown immediately after heavy rains since they imbibe too much water, which causes rotting. This also results in excessive soil compaction, which may hinder germination. In general early sowing improves yields (significant delay in sowing can reduce yield by 50%) and seed quality. Seeds should be sown at a depth of 56 cm. To ensure uniform sowing depth, germination and crop stand, it is suggested that a groove 56 cm in depth is made along the rows for planting and, once the seed has been planted at the right depth and spacing, the soil is pressed down to ensure good contact with the seeds, enabling them to extract moisture more effectively. It is important to sow groundnut seed in rows and at the right spacing as this helps to reduce the incidence of rosette disease, ensures a more uniform pod maturity, better quality seed and maximizes yield. Planting groundnut plants closer together results in individual plants setting fewer pods, but over a short period of time. Overall, this will ensure that the pods will be of a similar age and stage of development and, therefore, make it easier to decide when to harvest. Wider spacing will produce fewer yields per hectare.

4.6 Spacing
Spacing depends on the growth habit and the variety. Small seeded Spanish types (bunch) are spaced at 30-45 cm between rows and 7.5-10 cm between plants. This gives an optimum plant population of 167,000 per hectare. The large-seeded Virginia types (runner) are spaced at 60 cm between rows and 10-15 cm between stations, giving an optimum plant population of 89,000 per hectare. Under irrigation, plant population can be as high as 250,000 plants/ha. This depends on variety characteristics, seed quality and planting density. With manual sowing, individual seeds are sown 3-5 cm deep.

Plantin g

Source: modification from Mwariri M. et all (2005)

Fig. 1 Recommended spacing groundnut Runner and Bunch varieties

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

4.7 Fertilizer
A reasonable level of organic matter must be maintained in the light, weakly structured, tropical soils where groundnuts are grown. Groundnut requires adequate levels of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and particularly calcium, which are required for maximizing yield and good quality seed. For farmers who can afford artificial fertilizers, application of Single Super Phosphate (SSP) at the rate of 100125 kg/ha or Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) at 8090 kg/ha will boost yield. SSP or TSP should be worked into the soil before planting. In areas where there is a high incidence of empty pods (pops), there could well be a shortage of calcium in the soil. To rectify this, depending on the soil type and seed variety a treatment of Gypsum at the rate of 200400 kg/ha (up to 5001000 kg/ha if the soil is particularly poor) at early flowering will reduce the incidence of empty pods. This requires soil analysis.

Source: Mwariri M. et all (2005)

Fig. 2 Application of Fertilizer

4.8 Rotation
The groundnut fits into a wide range of farming systems. It can follow both cereals (maize, pearl millet and sorghum) and root crops (cassava and sweet potatoes). Groundnut does well on virgin land or immediately following a grass fallow or a well fertilized crop such as maize. To avoid the build-up of pests and diseases, groundnut should not be grown continuously on the same land. A rotation of 3 years or longer can usually reduce disease, pest and weed problems. Because of the incidence of pests and soilborne diseases, groundnut should not be grown after cotton, although cotton can be used in rotation after groundnut. Other legumes, tobacco, tomatoes and certain other vegetables may cause a build-up of nematodes and soil-borne diseases and, therefore, should be avoided in rotation with groundnuts. Cereals, such as maize, sorghum and millet are good rotational crops, and other clean-

Plantin g

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

weeded crops such as cassava, sweet potato and sunflower can also be used. Avoid groundnut-groundnut rotation to discourage the build-up of pest and diseases Although a number of crops are used as intercrops with groundnut, results from intercropping research have been inconsistent, so any advantages or disadvantages are not known.

5. Weeding
5.1 Timing
Groundnut cannot compete effectively with weeds, particularly 36 weeks after sowing; therefore, early removal of weeds is important. Generally, 2 weedings are recommended, the first before flowering and at least another during pegging. If early weeding is done well, and crop spacing recommendations followed, then the weeds that come up later are smothered with the vigorous growth of the crop. If necessary pay extra attention when walking through a flowering groundnut field in order not to disturb the flowering plants.

5.2 Weeding by hand


When weeding, it is very important to avoid covering the developed plant with earth (including earthing up) as this can increase diseases (e.g. white mould), reduce flowering and pod development and, therefore, reduce pod yield. Once flowering and pegging begins it is advisable to weed by hand pulling, rather than by using a hoe, as this is less likely to disturb any developing pods.

5.3 Using chemicals Weeding


Pre- and post-emergence herbicides may be used to eradicate weeds but they are very expensive for most small-scale farmers. Follow the manufacturers instructions with regard to dosage.

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

6. Main Groundnut diseases


6.1 Groundnut rosette disease
Groundnut rosette disease is caused by a complex of viruses that are transmitted by aphids and white fly. It can occur at very high levels and can often produce 100% loss in yield. There are two forms of symptoms seen in the crops: 1) chlorotic (yellow and stunted) and 2) green (green and stunted). Late planted crops and wide spacing can increase the incidence of rosette disease so these should be avoided. Rosette resistant varieties of groundnut are available (e.g. bunch varieties) and these eliminate the need for spraying insecticides to control the aphids. Insecticides against Rosette diseases are continuously evolving and new products are coming out in the market on regular basis. It is therefore advisable to check the proper treatment and dosage from the nearest trusted agro-vet shop.

Source: Icrisat.org

Fig. 3 - Groundnut plants infected by rosette disease

6.2 Leaf spot


There are two main forms of the leaf spot fungal disease early and late. Early leaf spot may occur as early as 2 weeks after crop emergence. Lesions produced by this fungus are roughly circular, dark brown on the upper surface with chlorotic (yellow) halos surrounding the darker lesions and a lighter shade of brown on the lower surface of the leaflets. Severe attacks can cause heavy defoliation and result in a large yield loss. Late leaf spot occurs later in the season and has nearly circular lesions which are darker than those of early leaf spot. Late leaf spot does not normally affect yield reduction as severely as early leaf spot. On the lower leaf surface where most of the sporulation occurs, the lesions are black. Since the leaf spot pathogens

M ain Gr ou nd nu t di seases

10

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

survive mainly in crop debris, cultural practices such as crop rotation, burying crop debris during land preparation and early sowing can significantly reduce the incidence of the diseases. Chemical control may not be economical for rainfed crops but the fungicides ridomil, milraz or mancozeb (Dithane M-45) can be used at the rate of 50 g of the chemical with 20 l water. Apply when lesions are first seen and then at 14- day intervals for 34 sprays.

Source: Page W.W. et all (2002)

Fig. 4a: Early leaf spot

Fig. 4b: Late leaf spot

6.3 Rust
Rust occurrence is generally sporadic but sometimes there are severe outbreaks. It can survive in volunteer plants and spores can disperse over long distances to infect other areas. Rust is characterized by orange-red pustules on the leaves which later turn dark brown and cause curling of leaflets and defoliation.

M ain Groundnu t diseas es

Source: Page W.W. et all (2002)

Fig. 5 - Groundnut plant affected by rusts disease

11

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

The disease is of little consequence if it appears 23 weeks before harvesting. The cultural practices and fungicidal control measures recommended for leaf spot should be used.

6.4 Groundnut Blight


Blight disease causes wilt which occurs on the leaves in patches in the field. Sunken, brown lessons appear on the stems. More prevalent in wet weather Control: early weeding

Source: CEFA (2010)

Fig. 6 - Groundnut plant affected by Blight disease

6.5 Peanut Clump Virus (PCV)


It is a soil and seed borne disease. Infected plants are stunted and have symptoms such as mottling, mosaic and chlorotic rings on the leaves. Control is through rogueing and burn infected crops and avoiding contaminated fields for crop growing / closed season.

M ain Grou nd nu t d iseases

6.6 Peanut Mottle Virus (PMV)


It is a virus disease. Symptoms include dark green irregular patches on young leaves. Control is through closed season and planting resistant varieties.

12

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

7. Main Groundnut Pests


7.1 Aphids
Although the main pest status for aphids on groundnut is as a vector of rosette disease, aphids can, in large numbers, damage the plant tissues when feeding. They can be controlled using insecticides (see rosette disease above). There are also new varieties of groundnut (ICGV12988 and ICGV12991) which are aphid resistant and, therefore, do not usually get rosette disease. These varieties can be grown without the need to spray insecticides to kill the aphids.

Source: Page W.W. et all (2002)

Fig. 7 - Groundnut plant infested with aphids

7.2 Groundnut leaf miner


Groundnut leaf miner is a comparatively new pest. It is the larva of a small moth which burrows and mines into the leaflets of the plant. When the larvae have grown, they come out of their mines and pull the leaves together with threads. Severe cases of leaf miner damage make the crop look as if it has been burnt and severe crop losses can occur. It is suggested that systemic insecticides (see rosette disease above) are used as soon as quantities of mines are observed.

M ai n Groundnu t Pests

Source: Page W.W. et all (2002)

Fig. 8 - Groundnut leaf infested with leaf minor

13

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

7.3 Termites
Termite damage can be recognized when plants wither and die. There are no efficient control measures against termites so it is important to avoid growing groundnut in fields that have a history of termites or that have obvious termite mounds. Spot spraying with chlorpyrifos or methyl bromide can be tried (e.g gladiator).

Source: Page W.W. et all (2002)

Fig. 9 - Termite damaging groundnut field

7.4 Groundnut Hopper


Plants are attacked under the soil surface at the base of the stem. Plants wither, turn yellow and die. Control: Before planting work Aldrine or Dieldrin into the topsoil, later spray the base of the plants with Diazinon, Fenthion or Fenitrothion. Refer to your trusted agro-vet dealer for proper dosage of the above chemicals.

7.5 Millipedes
They attack mainly young seedlings and developing pods. It can cause significant damage and it is difficult to control. Damage by millipedes can be limited by incorporating an insecticide into the seed treatment.

M ain Gr ou nd nu t Pests

7.6 White Grubs


They are larvae of small brown chafers found in pod development area and feed on roots, nodules and pods.

14

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Symptoms include yellowing and rapid wilting of the plant. Constant monitoring and chemical control plus Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy should be included in control.

7.7 Nematodes
They are soil dwelling round worms, less than 1mm long which bore into roots and pods. Their presence in the roots severely decreases the number of nodules and activity of nitrogen fixing bacteria. Symptoms include yellowish foliage and severely reduced production, pod damage is characterized by the appearance of small brown spots which become larger and darker as nematodes grow. It is controlled by systematic insecticides such as Carbon Furan.

7.8 Thrips
Thrips are slender insects, 2mm long and 0.5mm wide. They are yellow, brown or black and have fringed wings which allow them to stick on to slippery surfaces. They are piercing-sucking insects that destroy the parenchyma of the plant with their short stylets thereby reducing photosynthetic capacity of the plant. Attack is severe under humid conditions as they reproduce more under such condition. Control is by use of resistant varieties and use of chemicals such as Deltamethrine.

M ain Groun dn ut Pests

Source: Icrisat.org (http://vasatwiki.icrisat.org/index.php/

Thrips_infestation_in_groundnut)

Fig. 10a - Enlarged picture of a thrip

Fig. 10b - Damage caused by thrips on groundnut leaves

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Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

7.9 Caterpillars
Commonly called hairy cowpea caterpillar, adult is 12-16 mm long with wing span of 35-40mm. The larva is a hairy defoliating caterpillar with a yellow head and yellowish brown patterned segments. Adults appear 3-5 days after the first substantial rains and lay eggs on young plants. Control is through cultural practices such as early planting. Also controlled chemically by use of Endosulfan (Insecticide).

(http://www.jnkvv.nic.in/ipm%20project/insect-groundnut.html)

Source: jnkvv.nic.in

Fig. 11 - Caterpillar and its damage on groundnut leaves

8. Harvesting
8.1 Timing
It is very important to harvest groundnuts at the correct time. Flowering is indeterminate in the groundnut; therefore there are a variable proportion of mature and immature pods at the end of the crop cycle. Groundnuts are mature when 70-80% of the inside of the pods shells have dark markings and the kernels are plump, with colour characteristic of that variety. If harvested too early, the seeds will shrink when drying which lowers the yield, oil content and quality of the seed. Delays in harvesting will result in poor quality seed due to mould infections and subsequent aflatoxin contamination of the seeds/pods. Late harvesting also reduces yield because higher proportions of pods are left in the ground due to the pegs being weak and the pods breaking off. If harvested late, some non-dormant varieties will begin to sprout in the field resulting in yield losses.

M ain Gr ou nd nu t Pests/ Har vesting

16

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

8.2 Indicators for harvesting time


Leaf fall is not a good indicator of when to harvest. It is recommended that a few plants (35) should be pulled up randomly and the pods removed and shelled. The insides of the shells should be examined. If the majority of pods (70% upwards) have dark markings inside the shell and the seeds are plump and the correct colour for that variety, then the groundnuts are mature and ready for harvest. If the crop is severely defoliated as a result of disease (only one or two leaves per branch) or if sprouting has begun, the crop should be harvested regardless of maturity. The estimated period of maturity for each variety can be used as a rough guide.

8.3 Hand lifting


Harvesting by hand only is more suitable for the bunch/erect groundnut varieties in sandy, loam soils which are well drained. When the soil is wet and heavy or very dry, it is much more difficult to pull up the whole plant without losing pods.

8.4 Hand lifting with a hoe or fork


By using a hoe during harvesting it is possible to lift plants out of heavy or dry soil with a reduced pod loss. Spreading/runners varieties can also be more easily lifted. Care should be taken not to damage the pods with the hoe as damage makes the pods susceptible to fungal attack. A hoe fork lessens the likelihood of such damage.

8.5 Cleaning
It is important to shake the plant after lifting to remove excess soil from the pods, particularly when the soil is wet or heavy. Soil stuck to the pods will lengthen drying times and produce better conditions for the development of unwanted fungal growth.

8.6 Drying Har vesting


8.6.1 The importance of drying The primary objective of curing or drying is to achieve a rapid but steady drying of pods in order to avoid aflatoxin contamination. Harvested plants should be staked in the field and left there for a few days to allow them to dry in the sun and air, before stripping the pods. The correct drying or curing of the harvested groundnuts is very important as poor curing can help induce fungal growth (producing aflatoxin contamination) and reduce seed quality for consumption, marketing and germination for the following seasons planting. For good storage

17

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

and germination, the moisture content of the pods should be reduced to 68% (see Section 9.2 to see how to test moisture content in grains). This can normally be achieved by drying the pods in the sun for 6-7 days, taking care to cover them if it rains. There are different ways of drying the pods, some of which are better than others. It is particularly important to note that if the pods are exposed to the sun for too long the seed quality can deteriorate considerably and germination can be affected. The different methods of drying are explained below. 8.6.2 Drying in windrows If the harvested groundnut plants are left to dry on the soil surface where they have been lifted, the pods are likely to be in contact with the soil, which can contain moisture and be at a higher temperature. In this case it can easily affect the quality of the seed, particularly if there is rain during the drying period. If field drying is used, it is better to use windrows, where plants are laid in rows to catch the wind and dry more quickly. The drying of pods in windrows (35 days) should produce the required level of moisture before the pods are picked or stripped. Excessive exposure to the sun can affect the quality of the seed. 8.6.3 Drying on mats The plants can be picked/ plucked from the windrows and then laid out in a thin layer in the sun on dry ground, mats or other dry surfaces for a further 25 days after stripping which would normally dry the pods to the required moisture content for storing. Pods should be covered or taken indoors during wet weather. They can also be picked immediately after lifting and then dried in the sun as above for 68 days. Once again excessive exposure to the sun can affect the quality of the seed. 8.6.4 Strippingwinnowing The dried plants and pods are kept in a rooms for about 2 to 6 weeks in order to make sure that the pods water content stabilizes at around 10%. After this period pods are stripped. This operation consists of separating the pods from the vegetative parts of the plants (vines). In traditional farming systems, manual stripping is the rule. Pods are individually detached from the vines and therefore dry very quickly stabilizing at 6-8% moisture content. The process results in a perfect quality product. This technique is used for the production of edible or confectionery groundnuts in order to minimize pod damage and contamination by Aspergillus flavus. However, stripping is most often done using sticks. These reduce the heap of groundnut plants into a mixture of chopped vines and partially broken pods that are then separated by winnowing.

Har vesting

18

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

9. Storage
9.1 Storage Requirements
Pods should be stored in order to provide a quality product and to ensure profitability. Groundnuts should be stored under the following conditions: collect quality raw material (well filled mature pods), clean, free from visible insect damage, well cured (6-8% moisture content); clean storage facilities; treat storage facilities and seeds; check seeds regularly during storage (every 15 days or once a month according to storage period).

It is best to store groundnuts in their shell. Good drying of the pods to 78% moisture content will help to ensure that the seeds remain in good condition during storage. Never bag groundnuts for storage if the pods are still damp. Before storing, poor, damaged, shrivelled, rotten, or fungus-infected pods should be removed. Whatever the storage container, it is important to ensure that the store is dry and that there is good ventilation so that the pods/seeds do not increase in moisture content, which would encourage fungal growth. Ideally the store should be cool, as this prolongs the storage life of the pods. Note. Moisture is the key to safe storage and moisture content of grain is related to relative humidity of surrounding air. Safe moisture content of cereal is 13% 15%

9.2 How to test moisture content in grain


Use dry bottle with a lid; Put one table spoon of salt in the bottle; Pour a half glass of groundnut in the bottle; Seal the lid and shake up to mix well; Place the bottle in the sunshine for 30 minutes; If the grain is not dry, then the moisture will be attached to the bottle wall, which will therefore need more drying.

S torage

9.3 Temperature
Very high temperature 66C will destroy seeds; High temperature 21-24 C speed up respiration of grains; The lower the temperature the better.

19

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

9.4 Storage hygiene


Stores should be kept clean at all time; Grain is dried clean and free from discolored and low quality seed; Bags be kept off floor on wooden platform to avoid absorption of moisture; Produce be treated with pesticide before intake to store.

Note. It should kept good records of store e.g. no. of bags, time of storage, dusting e.t.c

9.5 Quality guard


Quality starts from the field whereby good agronomic and storage practices need to be observed before the produce goes to the customers.

9.6 Storage methods


9.6.1 In bags Bags should be made of a material which allows the air to circulate, therefore, gunny bags are recommended. Do not use polythene or polypropylene bags as these restrict air flow and fungal growth could occur. For the same reason, do not cover bags with plastic or tarpaulin (canvas) which may also restrict ventilation and increase condensation. Bags should be stored away from the ground on wooden slats to avoid damage from dampness. If bags are stacked, a gap should be left between stacks to allow ventilation. Do not stack bags more than ten bags high. 9.6.2 Other methods If bags cannot be used, storage in clay pots, woven baskets, or storing loose may be used. In all cases it is important to ensure good ventilation by keeping the storage vessel off the ground and ensuring that the storage place used is dry. When storing the pods loose, a platform made of local material (e.g. bamboo) should be made to keep the pods off the ground.

S to rage

9.7 Ways of protecting stored grains


9.7.1 Contact treatments for unshelled groundnuts Stacking sites should be treated with insecticide dust before windrows and stacks are formed for drying the groundnuts. The surrounding should also be treated to protect the site. Groundnuts are thus protected against termites

20

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

and seed bugs. Storage areas, containers, drums, bags and storage equipment (conveyors, etc.) should be treated before storing groundnuts. Cleaning of these areas can be followed by fumigation or spraying with insecticides. Pesticides are applied using a sandwich technique. Seeds are dusted during bagging, and then an insecticide dust is applied between each layer of bags. Organophosphates are contact insecticides currently used. Other available products with long residual activity include Ethyl-Pyrimiphos (Actellic) Methylchlorpyriphos (Reldan). Their residual activity is low in the open air but is effective for more than 6 months on stored seeds protected from light. 9.7.2 Fumigation Groundnut seeds (sorted pods or kernels) can be treated under airtight plastic, sealed silos or warehouses. Bags are arranged to form a pyramid. The base is sealed with a row of sandbags. Hydrogen phosphide (PH3) is the only authorized fumigant. It is available in tablet form and its use requires absolute adherence to manufactures recommendations in order for it to be effective. Successful fumigation depends on ambient moisture, fumigant dose and duration. Fumigant dose can be reduced in airtight treatment areas with high temperature. Stored groundnuts should be regularly checked and a seed sample taken every 3 weeks to ensure proper conservation. 9.7.3 Physical and mechanical methods These methods are low cost, effective and readily available to farmers. Several techniques are used, depending on the area: groundnuts are mixed with powdered minerals (ashes, sand, etc.) that act as abrasives or physical barriers; sealed containers(silos) in which anoxic conditions limit insect development, Temperatures below (<5C) or above (>40C) are optimum for insect development.

S torage / S h ellin g

10. Shelling
Shelling should be done as and when groundnut seeds are required for consumption, marketing or for planting as the storage life of the seed outside the shell is short and the quality can reduce rapidly. With both hand and mechanical shelling, the seeds should be checked and any discoloured, mouldy or shrivelled seeds should be thrown away.

21

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

10.1 Hand Shelling Hand shelling is labour intensive but is effective for small quantities of groundnut. It is particularly good for the selection of seed for planting the following season as there is less damage to the seeds, thus avoiding fungal infections. The practice of putting pods into sacks and beating them to break them up is not recommended as this can produce a high level of damaged seeds. 10.2 Mechanical shelling There are a number of mechanical hand shellers on the market that can shell groundnuts at a rate of up to six bags an hour. Continuous rotating types have the advantage of continuous operation (rather than shelling in batches) and new designs produce very little wastage in terms of damaged seed.

11. Common storage pests


When pests damage the pods/seeds, they create the conditions for the build-up of fungal infection. Insect storage pests can be controlled using Pirimiphosmethyl (Actellic Super) applied as a dust to the pods before bagging. The principle storage pests of groundnut are the seed bug (Heteroptera sp) and the groundnut seed beetle (Caryedon cerratus); these can cause significant damage. Other insects, particularly Khapra beetles (Trogoderma granarium E.) as well as flour beetles, (Tribolium castaneum H. and T. confusum) are also important, especially on shelled groundnuts. The groundnut seed beetle is the most harmful storage pest. The larva develops inside the pods and is therefore difficult to control.

11.1 Mites
Are smaller than insects and appears as dusts on grain. Some feed on grains which others feed on moulds developing on grains. Mites are associated with high moisture content in stored seeds / grains.

11.2 Insects
Some of the insects that damage the grain begin their attack in the field several weeks before harvest. E.g. pulse beetle. Survival of storage insects depend on temperature and moisture content temperature >42 degrees C or < 10 degrees C will kill insects and moisture content below 8% will not permit insects multiplication. Damage by one insect may lead to further damage by second type of insects e.g. grain weevil destroys sound grain, its lava bores into grain and feeds on endosperm. Red flour beetle, which feeds on the grain dust, further attacks damaged grain , saw beetle also feed on the damaged grain.

Common stor age pests

22

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

11.3 Rodents
Rats and mice are most important rodents of the stored food. They cause damage by: 1. Consuming grain; 2. Contaminating with the grains with excretion; 3. Carry diseases.

12. Critical microbiological problems in groundnut


12.1 Fungi
Most common mould requires relative humidity above 70%. Temperature increases rate of fungal reproduction, optimum temperature range for most fungus is 35 40 C. Mould is a primary cause of loss of viability in seed. Some fungi produce toxic substances Aspergillum flavours produce toxic subsistence Aflatoxins.

12.2 Aflatoxins
Aflatoxins are toxic substance produced by mould fungi (Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus) which can grow on poorly managed agricultural crops, particularly groundnuts. Aflatoxin contamination may happen during pre-harvest and post-harvest handling of the crop. Pre-harvest contamination is severe during periods of drought at the pod filling stage. Post-harvest Contamination results mostly from poor drying and curing procedures. If eaten in sufficient quantities Aflatoxins can cause sickness, hepatitis and/or liver cancer. It is, therefore, extremely important to ensure good management of groundnut crops and any suspect seed should be destroyed rather than used for human or animal consumption. If groundnuts are to be sold for export no aflatoxin contamination must be present. Although the practices for minimizing mould are mentioned in the different sections above, they are summarized here.

C ritic al m icrob iol ogic al pro ble m in gr oundnut

(a) Harvest the crop as soon as it is mature, any delay will encourage the development of fungus; (b) Avoid damaging pods during cropping; (c) Remove soil from the pods before leaving to dry; (d) Ensure that the correct drying procedures are used and that damaged, shrivelled, or rotten pods are removed before storage; (e) Store the pods under dry, well ventilated conditions to ensure the moisture content remains low, thus discouraging fungal growth; (f ) Avoid damaging the seed during shelling and destroy any discoloured, shrivelled or mouldy seed;

23

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

(g) Avoid pod damage by insects as this can leave the pods/seeds susceptible to fungal infection; (h) Pre-harvest contamination is severe during drought and extra care should be taken to clean the seed, especially the smaller seed.

Source: Page W.W. et all (2002)

Fig. 12 - Symptoms of Aspergillus flavus which produces aflatoxin contamination

12.3 Salmonella
Salmonella are normally transmitted from animal faeces. It may also be contaminated by the unwashed hands of an infected food handler, who forgot to wash his or her hands with soap after using the bathroom. Salmonella may also be found in faeces of pets, especially those with diarrhoea. Reptiles are particularly likely to harbour salmonella

13. Quality and marketing


The quality of groundnut is determined very much at the farm level. Good growing, harvesting, drying and storage on-farm (as set out in this manual) will ensure that the pods/seeds are marketable. A buyer will, in particular, be looking for (ideals shown in brackets): varietal purity (at least 95%), low moisture content (78%), high shelling percentage (above 55%), low level of damaged pods/ kernels (less than 17%) and no aflatoxin contamination.

C rit ic al m i cro bi ol og ic al prob le m i n g rou nd nu t / Q u alit y and m arket in g

13.1 General characteristics of good quality groundnuts


Variety: Sorting should be done according to the same variety of the groundnut for uniformity in colours, size and variety.

24

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Premature or discolored or spoiled grains: This gives or lowers the quality and gives a poor presentation. Broken or fragmented grains: This allows the mould to use exposed material and facilitates easy spread. The mould produces aflatoxin, which is a worldwide problem because, is remains in the food even after the fungus that produces it has died. Moisture content: Should be dried to a moisture content of 15% (grain) and 7%-8% for pods to avoid mould growth.

14. Utilization of groundnut


Groundnuts have a high nutritional value. They are rich in protein and min erals and are a good source of cooking oil. They can be eaten on their own or blended with other dishes to improve taste and nutritional value

Roasted Groundnuts
Clean seed is roasted dry or in oil on a frying pan; Salt is added to taste; Varieties like ICGV12988 and ICGV12991 are preferred because they tastier than others.

Boiled Groundnuts
Harvest the groundnuts; Remove the soil; Wash the pods and boil with water; Add salt to taste.

Groundnut Githeri Utiliz ati on of gro und nut


Boil groundnuts together with maize; Fry the mixture with onions and tomatoes; Serve as a main meal.

Groundnut sauce
Roast clean seed and cool; Remove the seed coat; Pound using a mortar and pestle or grinding stone to form paste;

25

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Fry with onions and tomatoes; Add little water to form a thick paste; Serve with bananas, rice, chapatis, ugali, potatoes or any other carbohydrate foods.

Groundnut porridge
Mix 1 cup of groundnut paste with 3 cups of sorghum, maize or millet flour; Add the mixture to water and cook like ordinary porridge.

Groundnut snacks
Groundnuts can also be used in several snacks like chocolate, sweets, cakes,biscuits and making peanut butter.

Utilizati on of groun dn ut

26

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

15. Gross margin analysis


Gross Margin = Gross Output (sake) Total Variable costs In simple terms: Profit = Total Sales Costs

Table 2 - Gross margin per acre of groundnuts in South Nyanza (Western Kenya)
Item Unit Quantity Unit Cost (Kshs) Total Cost (Kshs)

OUTPUT 1. Yield per acre VARIABLE COSTS 2. Land Preparation Clearing Ploughing Harrowing 3. Seed 5. Labour Planting Weeding 1st Weeding 2nd Harvesting Digging o Harvesting Stripping o Shelling o Drying 6. Bags (unshelled) 7 Transport 8.Total Variable Cost 9. Gross Margin o o o o ! MD Kshs Kshs Kg 8 1 acre 1 acre 25 100 1,500 1,200 115 800 1,500 1,200 2,875 Kg 300 100 30,000

MD MD MD MD MD MD MD No. Trips Kshs. Kshs

15 20 15 15 10 15 4 10 1

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 50 1,000

1,500 2,000 1,500 1,500 1,000 1,500 400 500 1,000 17,275 12,725

Gross marg in anal ysis

27

Table 3 - General stages of development of groundnut and recommended practices (for long duration varieties)
20-40 B Vegetative growth C Vegetative growth and flowering/ pegging Ensure good weed control. Weed by hand pulling to avoid earthing up and damage to pegging. Check for pests and diseases and control where necessary. If weeding is required use hand pulling. Check for pests and diseases and control where necessary. Harvest when 70% or more pods are mature. Use dark markings on inside of shell. Seeds should be plump and correct colour for variety. If crop is severely defoliated (95%) or sprouting has begun, harvest straight away. Clean excess soil from pods. Wilt/dry in windrows for 35 days. D Pegging and podding pod filling E Harvest maturity F Post harvest 40-80 80-110 110-120 120-130

a) For long duration varieties e.g. Homabay local, ICGV07 - (Days)

0-10

Stages of development of groundnut

A Germination and emergence Ensure good weed control. Avoid earthing up plants when using hoe. Check for aphids or leaf miners and control if necessary.

Recommended practice

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

S ummar y

28

Prepare land early so that seed can be planted early after first rains. If possible, fertilize with SSP or TSP before planting. Choose good quality seed. Dress seed with Thiram to control fungal and bacterial growth. Sow at 56 cm depth. Space at 30-45 x 7.510 cm for bunch type varieties. Space at 60 x 1015 cm for semi-erect (Virginia) type varieties.

Dry pods on mats for a further 25 days. If A-frames or cocks used, dry for 34 weeks and then pick off the pods. Do not dry any further after picking. Before storing remove poor, damaged, shrivelled, rotten or fungus-infected pods. Store pods in gunny bags in a cool, dry, well ventilated store. Do not store moist groundnuts. Do not use plastic or polyweave bags

S umm ar y

Table 4 - General stages of development of groundnut and recommended practices (for short duration varieties)
20-30 B Vegetative growth C Vegetative growth and flowering/ pegging Ensure good weed control. Weed by hand pulling to avoid earthing up and damage to pegging. Check for pests and diseases and control where necessary. If weeding is required use hand pulling. Check for pests and diseases and control where necessary. Harvest when 70% or more pods are mature. Use dark markings on inside of shell. Seeds should be plump and correct colour for variety. If crop is severely defoliated (95%) or sprouting has begun, harvest straight away. Clean excess soil from pods. Wilt/dry in windrows for 35 days. Dry pods on mats for a further 25 days. If A-frames or cocks used, dry for 34 weeks and then pick off the pods. Do not dry any further after picking. Before storing remove poor, damaged, shrivelled, rotten or fungus-infected pods. Store pods in gunny bags in a cool, dry, well ventilated store. Do not store moist groundnuts. Do not use plastic or polyweave bags D Pegging and podding pod filling E Harvest maturity F Post harvest 30-60 60-75 75-80 80-90

b) For short duration varieties e.g. ICGV-12988 (red small), ICGV-12991 (brown small) - (Days)

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

29
Ensure good weed control. Avoid earthing up plants when using hoe. Check for aphids or leaf miners and control if necessary.

0-10

Stages of development of groundnut

A Germination and emergence

Recommended practice

Prepare land early so that seed can be planted early after first rains. If possible, fertilize with SSP or TSP before planting. Choose good quality seed. Dress seed with Thiram to control fungal and bacterial growth. Sow at 56 cm depth. Space at 30-45 x 7.510 cm for bunch type varieties. Space at 60 x 1015 cm for semi-erect (Virginia) type varieties.

Good Agronomic Practices for Groundnut in Western Kenya

Bibliography
Kipkoech A. K., Okiror M.A., Okalebo J. R. and Maritim H. K., (2007). Production efficiency and economic potential of different soil fertility management strategies among groundnut farmers of Kenya, Science World Journal Vol 2(no 1) Ntare BR, Diallo AT, Ndjeunga and Waliyar F., (2008). Groundnut Seed production Manual, Andhra Pradesh, India: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). 20 pp. Page, W.W., Busolo-Bulafu, C.M., Vander Merwe, P.J.A. and Chancellor, T.C.B. (2002). Groundnut Manual for Uganda: Recommended Groundnut Production Practices for Smallholder Farmers in Uganda. Chatham, UK: Natural Resources Institute. Mwariri M., Kamidi M., Wanjekeche E., Omamo B., Okumu M. and Wanyonyirr M., (2005). Grow and eat groundnut for more money and better health, Bulletin supported and funded by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Bibliog raphy

30

NOTES