April 20, 2021

Soil requirements for groundnut

Groundnuts are a popular source of food throughout the world. Groundnuts are produced in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, on sandy soils.

Uniquely among legume crops, groundnut pods are formed in the soil. Groundnut plants need well drained sandy loam or sandy clay loam soil for better performance. Deep well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5 – 7.0 and high fertility, are ideal for groundnut.

The groundnut pod is produced underground at the tip of the pegs. The topsoil must thus have a low clay content (less than 20%) with a loose structure so that the peg may penetrate the soil freely. The crop can also more easily be pulled up at harvest without leaving pods behind in the soil.

It is observed that heavy soil is unsuitable for cultivation because of difficulty in harvesting and pod loss. Soils with a high clay percentage in the topsoil may cause the groundnut pegs to break at harvest.

The soil should not be saline in nature because these crops are sensitive to salt. The soil for groundnut farming should not have stones and clay otherwise the yield would be affected. An optimum soil temperature for good germination of groundnut is around 27-30˚C for good germination and growth.

Low temperature at sowing delays germination and increases seed and seedling diseases. The soil should also be light coloured. This indicates that it is relatively low in organic matter, which helps prevent fungal diseases. It also means that the soil will not stain the pods, which can reduce the market value of the crop if it is sold in the pod.
Soil requirements for groundnut

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