Groundnut / Peanut / Arachis hypogaea belong to the legume family. It is also called Moongphalee, Sengadane, Verusanaga, Kadalekayi, Badama, Nilakkatala, Nilakkatalai, etc.
Peanut is an annual herbaceous plant growing 30 – 50 cm (1.0 to 1.6 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with four leaflets, each leaflet 1 – 7 cm long and 1 – 3 cm broad. Peanuts are also called earthnuts, goober peas, monkey nuts, pygmy nuts and pig nuts. Despite its name and appearance, the peanut is not a nut, but rather a legume. India is the second largest producer of groundnuts in the world. Indian groundnuts are available in different varieties such as Bold or Runner, Java or Spanish and Red Natal. The main Groundnut varieties produced in India are Kadiri-2, Kadiri-3, BG-1, BG-2, Kuber, GAUG-1, GAUG-10, PG-1, T-28, T-64, Chandra, Chitra, Kaushal, Parkash, Amber, etc.
Peanuts are grown in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Uttar Pradesh. Peanuts have a rich nutty flavor, sweet taste, crunchy texture and long shelf life. Groundnut is the major oilseed crop in India and is important as it plays a major role in producing vegetable oil required for cooking purposes. Groundnuts in India are available throughout the year due to a two-crop cycle harvested in March and October. Ground Nuts are important protein crops grown under rainfed conditions normally. It is a major source of heat and energy in the cold winter months in the North.
Groundnuts are used to make chikkis, powders and masalas used for cooking, roasted and eaten as it is, like cooking oil, etc. It has many health benefits too such as peanuts are rich in minerals, energy, nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that are beneficial for health. They contain Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol. Peanut kernels are a good source of dietary protein that is essential for growth and development. Peanut contains a special antioxidant called resveratrol that protects against cancers, heart diseases, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s and fungal infections.
Climatic conditions play a major role in groundnut production. Warm and moist conditions are favorable for groundnut cultivation as against cool or wet climates. The latter produce seed rot and diseases in groundnut. Groundnut cannot withstand frost, drought or waterlog. Care should be taken to avoid such conditions for optimal growth of groundnut. It also requires adequate and well-distributed rainfall. Groundnut is a Kharif season crop, but now its cultivation is being spread to the spring season as well. It is available throughout the year in India and across most states.
Groundnut / Peanut Farm in India
Image source – icrisat.org
Image source – barc.gov.in
Image source – indiaeng.com
Groundnuts are sown in the rainy season around the 3rd week of June. In some regions, it is grown as a Kharif crop and in others as a Rabi crop.
Climatic conditions such as temperature and rainfall significantly influence groundnut production. Warm and moist conditions are very favorable. Cool temperatures increase the risk of seed rot and diseases. Temperatures above 35°C inhibit the growth of groundnut. The best temperature to grow groundnuts is between 21 – 27 °C.
Groundnut requires a well-distributed rainfall of 60 – 150 cm annually along with proper sunlight and warm growing season. Adequate and well-distributed rainfall during the growing season, especially during flowering, pegging and pod formation stages, is essential for maximum yield and quality of groundnut. For Pre-sowing operations, 100 mm rainfall is required. For sowing operations about 150 mm rainfall is required and during flowering about 400 – 500 mm rainfall.
Seed Rate –
Choose good seeds one week before sowing. Seed rat depends on the variety. Use 125 – 330 kg/ha of kernels. Increase the seed rate by 15% in the case of bold seeded varieties. Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4 g/kg seed. Bio-control agents are compatible with bio-fertilizers. First, treat the seeds with bi-control agents and then with Rhizobium. If the seed treatment is not carried out, apply 10 packets/ha (2000 g) with 25 kg of FYM and 25 kg of soil before sowing. Dibble the seeds at 4 cm depth along with fertilizer. In some cases, seeds are treated with Thiram or Bavistin. For more information on this, contact your local horticulturist.
Adopt a spacing of 30 cm between rows and 10 cm between plants. Wherever groundnut ring mosaic (bud necrosis) is prevalent, adopt a spacing of 15cm x 15 cm. place the seeds at a 5 cm depth in the soil. Form beds of size 10 m² – 20 m² depending upon the availability of water, the slope of the land and type of soil. Ridges and furrows may be laid at 60 cm spacing between ridges and sowing taken on both sides of the ridge. Raised bed with a width of 60 cm and with a furrow of 15 cm on either side may be formed and sowing taken on the raised bed. Broad beds and furrows method of groundnut cultivation is a proven beneficial for groundnut farming.
Make the beds at a width of 60 cm, leaving 15 cm on either side for the furrows. In a plot size of 4.5 m x 6.0 m, five beds can be made. After the formation of the bed and fertilizer application, spread black polythene sheet (90 cm width) over the soil surface.
Soil Type –
Groundnut can be grown in sandy loam or sandy clay loam soils. Deep well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5 – 7 are best suited for groundnut farming. Test the soil before use. Soil must contain adequate levels of potassium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, copper, boron, manganese, magnesium and sulfur.
Fertilizer application –
10 – 12 kg of chicken manure or 20 tons/ha of well-decomposed FYM are needed to grow groundnuts. Apply 25 kg N, 50 kg P, and 75 kg K per hectare along with sulfur @ 60 kg/ha. N and K are used in three splits such as 50 % N & K as basal + 25 % N and K at 20 DAS + 25 % N and K at 45 DAS.
Land preparation –
Plough the field followed by harrow, once or twice with an iron plow or 3 – 4 times with country plow till all the clods is broken and a fine tilth is obtained. Chisel the soil at shallow depth with chisel plow first at 0.5 m interval in one direction and then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one. This is done once in three years. Apply 12.5 t/ha FYM or composted coir pith besides chiseling. Apply lime @ 2 t/ha along with FYM or composted coir pith @ 12.5 t/ha. When coir pith at 12.5 t/ha is converted into compost, it serves as a good source of the nutrient.
Water deficit can affect groundnut in many ways. Hence ensure it receives adequate water. Adequate water in the upper cm layer of soil is important for high yield. Schedule the irrigation at 0.40 and 0.60 IW/CPE ratio during vegetative and reproductive phases respectively.
Regulate irrigation according to the following growth phase of the crop.
Pre-flowering phase – life irrigation 1 to 25 days
Flowering phase – 2 irrigations daily after 26 to 60 days
Pegging stage – 2 – 3 irrigations
Pod development stage – 2 – 3 irrigations
Maturity phase – 61 to 105 days
Weed Management –
Pre-sowing: Fluchloralin at 2.0 l/ha soil applied and incorporated followed by light irrigation.
Pre-emergence: Fluchloralin 2.0 l/ha or Pendimethalin @ 3.3l/ha applied on the third day after sowing through flat fan nozzle with 500 l of water/ha followed by irrigation. After 35 – 40 days one hand weeding may be given.
Spray Imazethapyr @ 750 ml/ha at 20-30 days after sowing based on weed density as post-emergence spray
If no herbicide is applied two hand-hoeing and weeding are given on 20th and 40th day after sowing.
Apply, PE Oxyfluorfen @ 200 g/ha on 3rd DAS and followed by one hand weeding on 40-45 DAS
Apply, PE Oxadiazon @ 0.8 kg ha-1 followed by one earthing up using hoes (or) working star type weeder
Apply, PE Metalachlor @ 1.0 kg ha-1 followed by one hand weeding on 40 DAS.
Accomplish earthing during second-hand weeding/late hand weeding within 40 – 45 days after sowing as it helps for the penetration of pegs in the soil and also facilitates for increased pod development.
Aphids are controlled by spraying Methyl demeton 25% EC 1000 ml/ha
Groundnut leaf miner is controlled by spraying Malathion 50 EC 1.25 l/ha
Groundnut bud borer can be controlled by applying neem oil 3%
Early leaf spot can be managed by spraying Carbendazim 500 gm/ha
Late leaf spot can be managed by spraying Carbendazim 0.1%
Rust can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb 1 kg/ha
For more such issues, please contact your local horticulturist
Premature harvesting lowers the yield. Harvesting can be done in three ways. One way is to apply sprinkler irrigation for an hour and then manually pull the plants. The second way is to apply surface irrigation and use blade harrow to cut the plant roots at 12 – 15 cm below the soil surface and then manually pull the plants. The last method is using the plow or tractor-driven digger to loosen the soil and then pull the plants. This method is applied for lack of irrigation facilities. Harvested plants are sun-dried for a few days. After cleaning and grading, the dried pods are stored in gunny bags and dusted with 5% Lindane to protect them from storage pests.
Benefits of Groundnuts –
Peanuts are rich in energy and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
They contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” level in the blood.
Peanut kernels are a good source of dietary protein and compose fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and development.
Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol which is an antioxidant that protects against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and fungal infections.
The kernels are an excellent source of vitamin-E which helps maintain the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals.
The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
100 g of peanuts provides about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contributes to health and blood flow to the brain.
The nuts are a rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Nutritional value of groundnuts per 100 gm –
As per Wikipedia
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49 g 75%
Saturated fat 7 g 35%
Polyunsaturated fat 16 g
Monounsaturated fat 24 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 18 mg 0%
Potassium 705 mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 16 g 5%
Dietary fiber 9 g 36%
Sugar 4 g
Protein 26 g 52%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 9% Iron 25%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 15%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 42%