Southeastern peanut producers have a variety of improved varieties available for planting this spring, and there are others in the pipeline, says Bill Branch, University of Georgia plant breeder.

“We have some newer varieties that hopefully will offer good potential for peanut growers and for the entire industry,” said Branch at the recent Georgia Peanut Farm Show in Albany.

(For a look at what growers are thinking with tried and true peanut varieties for the 2011 season, please see http://southeastfarmpress.com/peanuts/growers-will-focus-five-peanut-varieties-2011.

Like other peanut breeding programs, the University of Georgia is looking to increase high dollar value returns per acre, higher yields and grade, insect resistance, improved shelling characteristics, better processing quality, longer shelf life, and enhanced flavor and nutrition, says Branch.

“An improved variety benefits the entire peanut industry, from the farmer to the consumer,” he says.

University of Georgia Extension Peanut Specialist John Beasley says five runner varieties will account for 95 percent of the peanut acreage in the Southeast in 2011, including Georgia-06G, Georgia Greener, Georgia-07W, Tifguard and Florida-07.

Georgia-06G, says Branch, 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 tomato spotted wilt virus (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, he says.

Georgia Greener also is a high-yielding, typical-seeded, runner-type variety. 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 also has medium maturity.

Georgia-07W is a high-yielding, TSWV and white mold-resistant, runner-type variety. 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.

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.