Hypocotyl length in groundnut is a function of sowing depth. In field experiments deep sowing increased the mass of hypocotyl but decreased that of roots, pods and haulm. Few nodules were formed on the hypocotyls of plants from shallow sown seeds (4–5 cm deep). More hypocotyl nodules occurred on Virginia types when deep sown but the number and activity of nodules on the roots decreased. Nodules on the hypocotyl appeared later and fixed less nitrogen than root nodules. Although hypocotyl nodules fixed nitrogen during the later stages of plant growth, this activity could not compensate for the loss in nitrogenase activity due to deeper sowing. Deeper sowing also resulted in decreased pod yields.