Georgia’s peanut yield this past year was a record-high 3,530 pounds per acre, with the success attributable mostly to timely rains and new varieties that helped to keep disease pressure to a minimum.

Where there once was very little choice when it came to selecting a peanut variety, growers now have a wide array of options.

Along with these new options come new, or at least more, considerations when it comes to choosing the variety that best fits your farming situation. According to John Beasley, University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist. These considerations include yield and grade potential; maturity range; seed size; level of resistance to tomato spotted wilt virus, leafspot, white mold and other diseases; and seed availability and demand.

Producers, says Beasley, certainly want to plant cultivars that have the highest yield potential and produce a high percentage of sound mature kernels. Over the past three years, he adds, several runner-type varieties have been released that yield consistently higher than the 13-year standard, Georgia Green.

Also, growers have become accustomed to Georgia Green’s maturity range of being ready for harvest at about 135 to 140 days after planting, depending on weather conditions. Some of the currently available cultivars mature later than Georgia Green, and growers need to be aware of those differences.

In addition, several of the new cultivars have considerably larger seed size than Georgia Green. “This is important because when planted at the same seed per foot of row rate, such as six seed per foot of row, it takes more pounds of seed per acre to plant these larger seed size cultivars,” says Beasley.

These new cultivars also have varying levels of resistance to the most important peanut diseases, he says, and all of them have higher levels of resistance to tomato spotted wilt virus than Georgia Green. This means they can be planted in mid- to late-April and not suffer as much damage from tomato spotted wilt virus as Georgia Green.

Seed availability is another important consideration, says Beasley, and currently the three cultivars with the highest level of availability are Georgia 06G, Florida 07 and Tifguard. Georgia Greener, Georgia 07W and Georgia Green have the next level of seed quantity available at about 10 percent each, he says.

Currently available peanut varieties for Southeast growers:

Runner Type

AP-4 is a medium-maturity (130 to 135 days) runner-type variety released by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in 2006. It has demonstrated very good yield potential and excellent grades in Florida tests. AP-4 has very good resistance to TSWV and slightly better white mold resistance than Georgia Green. The seed of AP-4 is larger than that of Georgia Green. AP-4 has a runner growth habit with prominent center stem. Seed will be limited in 2010, and it will be marketed exclusively through Birdsong Peanuts.

AT-215 offers high-oleic oil chemistry and a large seed size. It is similar in size, maturity and appearance to ViruGard, with a prominent mainstem and spreading growth habit. It is early maturing at 120 to 125 days in the Southeast and 130 to 135 days in west Texas.

AT-3081R is a runner-type variety with slightly larger pod and seed size than Georgia Green and a normal fatty-acid profile. It has a very prominent mainstem and spreading growth habit. It offers high yields and grades and has good to very good resistance to TSWV,but is susceptible to late leaf spot. It matures at 130 to 140 days in the Southeast.

AT-3085RO has very good resistance to spotted wilt and a high yield and grade potential. It has high-oleic oil chemistry, pink seed coat and is larger in pod and seed size than Georgia Green. It matures in 130 to 140 days in the Southeast, has a very prominent mainstem and is susceptible to late leaf spot.

C-99R is a late-maturing variety with excellent pod yields across a wide range of locations and very good grades. It has resistance to leaf spot, white mold, rust and a small level of resistance to CBR. The seed are larger than the average runner, so calcium should be applied to optimize performance. This variety was developed through the University of Florida.

Florida-07R is a medium-to-late runner market-type peanut released from the University of Florida in 2006. It has shown excellent yield potential with good grades. Seed is similar in size to C-99R and, for this reason, gypsum is recommended for additional calcium. It has good-to-excellent resistance to TSWV, some white mold resistance and tolerance to leafspot. Florida-07 has high-oleic oil chemistry with good-to-excellent roasting, blanching and processing characteristics.

Georgia-07W is a high-yielding, TSWV and white mold-resistant, runner-type variety developed at the UGA Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton. The variety has shown a high level of resistance to TSWV and white mold. Georgia-07W has more of a runner growth habit, dark green foliage and medium maturity similar to Georgia Green. It offers excellent yield, grade and dollar value return per acre.

Georgia-06G is a high-yielding, large-seeded, runner-type variety developed at the UGA Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton. The variety has shown a high level of resistance to TSWV. Georgia-06G has an intermediate or decumbent runner growth habit, dark green foliage and medium maturity similar to Georgia Green. Georgia-06G combines high TSWV resistance with medium maturity and excellent yield, grade and dollar value return per acre.

Georgia-01R, developed at UGA’s Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, has shown good resistance to TSWV, early and late leaf spot, white mold, CBR, leafhoppers and leaf scorch. It has good yields and grades and has the same late maturity, spreading runner growth habit and lighter seed coat color as C-99R.

Georgia-02C was released in 2002 as a new high-oleic runner-type cultivar. It can have later maturity than Georgia Green with seed and pod size slightly larger. It has a spreading runner growth habit, with excellent TSWV and CBR resistance.

Georgia-03L is a high-yielding, large-pod runner variety developed at the UGA Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton. The variety has shown a high level of resistance to TSWV and moderate resistance to soil-borne diseases. Georgia-03L has maturity similar to Georgia Green with pods and seed size significantly larger.

Georgia Green has high yields, good grades and resistance to TSWV and white mold. An increased dollar return per acre compared with other runner varieties and a significantly higher percentage of total sound mature kernels (TSMK) complement the disease resistance. Georgia Green does not have resistance to leaf spot.

Georgia Greener is a high-yielding, typical-seeded, runner-type variety developed at the UGA Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton. The variety has shown a high level of resistance to TSWV. As the name implies, it has dark green foliage, intermediate or decumbent runner growth habit and typical runner seed size. Georgia Greener combines high TSWV resistance with medium maturity and excellent yield, grade and dollar value return per acre.

McCloud is a medium maturity runner market-type released from the University of Florida in 2006. It has shown good-to-excellent pod yields with excellent grades. Seed of McCloud is larger than Georgia Green. It has good resistance to TSWV and is similar to Georgia Green in its resistance to other diseases. It has high-oleic oil chemistry, and flavor, blanching and processing traits are good-to-excellent.

Tifguard was developed by USDA’s Agriculture Research Service in Tifton, Ga. It has resistance to nematodes so as to be characterized as “near immunity,” and it offers good yields and grades, especially in places where there would be no yield from other varieties. It offers good resistance to TSWV and maturity is similar to Georgia Green.

York is a late maturity runner-type peanut with excellent yield potential and good grades. Released from the University of Florida in 2006, seed size is similar to Georgia Green. It has excellent resistance to TSWV, white mold and leaf spot. The level of leaf spot resistance allows for a reduction in fungicide sprays in a good rotation. York has high-oleic oil chemistry with excellent flavor and processing traits.

Virginia Type

Florida Fancy is a medium maturing (130 to 135 days) Virginia-type variety released by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in 2006. It has about 85 to 95 percent fancy pods and is similar in seed size to the typical Virginia-type varieties NC-V11 and Perry, but is not as large as Gregory. The growth habit resembles runner varieties. Its resistance to TSWV is better than that of Georgia Green, and its reaction to white mold and leaf spot is similar to that of Georgia Green. Pod yield of Florida Fancy has been very good, especially in sandy soils.

Georgia-05E, released by the University of Georgia, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, combines high yield and grade with high-oleic oil chemistry and multiple disease and insect resistances. It has runner growth habit, later maturity and high percentage of extra-large kernels.

NC-V11 has very high yield and dollar value per acre under good conditions. Maturity is about the same as NC 7. NC-V11 produces fewer fancy pods and a lower percentage of ELKs than NC 7. NC-V11 has a spreading runner growth habit. It is less susceptible to TSWV then other Virginia-type varieties.

e-mail: phollis@farmpress.com