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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

Earthnuts, ground nuts, goober peas, monkey nuts, pygmy nuts and pig nuts

Latin Name: Arachis hypogaea

Plant Family : Fabaceae

Close Relatives: Yard long beans, edamame, snap beans, peas

Uses and Markets:  Culinary (e.g. snack, peanut butter, oil, livestock feed).  Industrial (e.g. peanut oil, peanuts used in the manufacture of plastics, cork substitutes, wall board, abrasives and fertilizers).
Native to South America, peanuts are an important crop in many areas around the world. Markets exist for roasting and boiled products. For more detailed information, please refer to OMAFRA Factsheet 93-061 Commercial Peanut Production in Ontario.

A mature peanut plant showing the pods. Peanut plants in the field. Carpophores (pegs) of peanut growing into the soil. The pod develops underground at the tip of the peg.Peanut harvest

Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Valencia and Spanish types are earlier maturing and the most suitable for Ontario growing conditions.  First flowers begin to appear around mid-June to early July.  Following pollination, a shoot or peg (gynophore) begins to grow from the base of the flower, bends down and pushes into the soil (a process often referred to as pegging).  A minimum of 3,000 corn heat units are required for normal growth and development.  Peanuts grown in areas with fewer heat units will not reach optimum maturity and generally the yield is too low to justify commercial production.  

Propagation method


Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:


Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

7-10 cm

Between row spacing

60-90 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. The peanut is a legume and has the ability to biologically fix its own nitrogen requirements. The seed must be properly inoculated just at planting to encourage nodulation. Application of a granular inoculant (not a peat formulation) at the rate of 56 grams per 100 metres of row (9 kg/ha) is required. The inoculant must be applied directly on top of the seed in the seed furrow for good nodulation. Peanuts require a large amount of readily available calcium at pegging. In some countries, Gypsum is applied at early bloom as the calcium source. However, no response has been obtained from applications of Gypsum in research trials at the Research Station, Delhi.  Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility. 

Soil type

Well drained sandy to sandy loam soils. 

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Cold sensitive, frost sensitive.

Irrigation requirements

Peanuts respond to irrigation when dry weather conditions prevail at early flowering to pegging. An application of 2.5 cm of water is considered adequate to relieve the stress condition

Days to harvest


Specialized equipment

Peanut planter and harvester.

Harvest Scheduling

Single harvest

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Machine harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

In Ontario, harvest typically occurs between late September and early October.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Reduce moisture content to 8-10% for storage. Peanuts should be cured using high air flow dryers equipped with supplemental heating capacity. Bulk tobacco kilns can be adapted for this purpose but some minor modifications will be required. The drying air temperature should be adjusted according to outside air conditions and should never exceed 30 °C.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 50% (for seed)

Temperature: 5°C for roasted nuts; <0°C for seed.

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 6-12 months

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

CAUTION: Certain pathogens (ex. Aspergillus species) can form toxic compounds in the peanuts rendering them inedible

Insects and Invertebrates: Potato leafhopper, spider mites, Japanese beetles

Diseases: Web blotch (Phoma arachidicola), pepper spot (Leptosphaerulina crassiasca), cercospora leaf spot, black hull (Thielaviopsis basicola), botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea), pod rot complex, Fusarium (Fusarium spp.), Aspergillus species, sclerotinia blight


Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Armyworm, corn earworm, cutworms, spotted cucumber beetle, aphids, thrips, corn rootworm, wireworms

Diseases: Leaf blights and spots (e.g. Alternaria, Choanephora, Phomopsis, bacterial), powdery mildew, crown and root rots (e.g. Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Cylindrocladium), pod rots (Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia), nematodes, viruses, bacterial wilt, rust


*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: potato leafhopper, spider mites, black hull. Weed control is an issue for peanut production in Ontario and there are limited chemical control options at this time. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section. Some pest control products are registered on this crop.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

A potato leafhopper on peanutHopper burn caused by leafhopper feeding on peanutButternut curculio adult.Pepper spot on peanutUnknown leaf spot on peanutBlack hull of peanut
Additional Notes

To protect against wind and water erosion, sandy soils are normally seeded to a winter cover crop. This cover crop should be plowed down and the soil packed by late April to allow ample time for crop decomposition prior to planting. Secondary tillage is carried out using a spring tooth or disk harrow just prior to planting.1 The final seedbed must be smooth and preferably packed. Efficient, once over harvesting requires that, every plant be picked up as close to the same height as possible. Thus, fields must be kept relatively level.1 Herbicides are available that should provide control for most annual weeds. (See OMAFRA Publication 75, Guide to Weed Control for details.)

Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile


  1. Boger, A. E., and J. Chamberlain . Peanuts. Horticulture Department, Purdue University. HO-134.
  2. Caliskan. S., Calskan, M.E.,  Arslan, M., and H. Arioglu. 2008. Effects of sowing date and growth duration on growth and yield of groundnut in a Mediterranean-type environment in Turkey. Field Crops Research, 105: 131-140.
  3. Hammons, R.O. 1982. Origin and Early History of the Peanut. In: Pattee, H.E., and C.E. Young (eds.) Peanut Science and Technology. American Peanut Research and Education Society. Yoakum, pp. 1-20.
  4. Maiti, R., and P. Wesche-Ebeling. 2002. The Peanut (Arachis hypogaea). Science Publishers Inc. Enfield.
  5. Sheidow, N.W., Roy, R.C., and D.L. Van Hooren.  1993. Commercial Peanut Production in Ontario.
  6. Zorzete, P., Reis, T.A.,  Felicio, J.D.,  Baquião, A.C.,  Makimoto, P.,  and B. Corrêa. 2011. Fungi, mycotoxins and phytoalexin in peanut varieties, during plant growth in the field. Food Chemistry, 129: 957-964.