Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia


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.


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.


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


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


2 Responses to “Funiculus”

  1. mace said

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

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