Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Funiculus

Posted by romeethredge on September 11, 2015

“We are having problems with a detached funiculus.” Sounds like something your Doctor might say to you but this is what we are having to say in many dryland peanut situations now.

Funiculus is Latin for “slender rope” and its the umbilical cord that connects the peanut kernel to the  pod and thus the peanut plant. We need it to be attached for the nut to progress in putting on weight. If it is detached, which happens through normal maturity or when the plant is very stressed then it’s over for that kernel.

The problem we see on stressed dryland fields is that this happens prematurely and if it happens to a lot of the kernels on a plant and time goes by and we have heavy rains, we can get sprouting and rotting of the kernels. So we want to harvest before much of that happens. Growers in some cases are having to make hard decisions about when to dig.

Peanut kernels  normally have a pink or white seed skin or “testa”. (You didn’t know you’d get a plant physiology lesson today, did you?) Under stress, usually heat and dry conditions, the testa turns bronze or copper colored.  Often shortly after this happens the funiculus detaches, but not always. So if bronzing is seen we need to carefully pull the shell away to see if the funiculus is still attached.  I like to shell a lot of the pods to get an idea of the percentage we have affected.

 

Here , I’m in a stressed dryland field and I shelled out 5 pods and 3 of them have skins that have turned copper colored, so that’s trouble, but my job is not over. I need to check the fundiculus.

_DSC3601-001

So I carefully peel back the pod and in this case the fundiculus is still holding on so we have a little more time if conditions improve. I must say that this is not usually the case. Much more often when the seed coat is copper colored, the fundiculus is detached.

IMG_8661

Here is where we have detachment. It’s all over for this one.

IMG_8662

Here’s a healthy pink kernel that will keep gaining weight.

IMG_8679

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Funiculus”

  1. mace said

    Thanks for the current, relevant information you provide, Rome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: