As Southeastern peanut growers await May planting dates they do so this year with the promise of some extra tools in their arsenal thanks to some recently released varieties that will help manage a number of production challenges.

“South Carolina is a hybrid state in that we grow both runner and Virginia type peanuts. Seed are available in 2010 for some excellent new runner types, but it will be another year until many growers can get experience with the most promising new Virginia types,” says Clemson Peanut Specialist Jay Chapin.

“We conduct several different types of variety tests. In our variety challenge we try to eliminate disease pressure to see what the yield and grade potential is for these different varieties. But in our disease screen we reduce fungicide inputs to focus on disease tolerance, which is equally important. After we put all the factors together to balance the upside potential with the downside risk, we try to rank the choices overall and for special situations,” he adds

A majority of the peanuts grown in South Carolina are Virginia types and one new variety has particularly stood out over four test years in South Carolina. Bailey from North Carolina State’s breeding program, headed by Tom Islieb, has performed especially well in trials at Clemson University’s Edisto Agricultural Research and Extension Center and in tests in North Carolina and Virginia.

For a look at peanut varieties adapted to the lower Southeast, please visit http://southeastfarmpress.com/peanuts/peanut-varieties-0316/index.html.

The standard Virginia-type peanut in South Carolina for many years has been NC-V11. In virtually disease free, high yield situations Bailey has been as good or better than NC-V11 and other high yield lines such as Champs and Gregory..

Where Bailey really shines in South Carolina tests is under disease pressure. At the 2009 Edisto Field Day growers got to see first hand that under severe mold pressure, Bailey with no soil fungicide outperformed standard varieties with multiple soil fungicide applications.

Georgia-08V from the breeding program of Bill Branch at the University of Georgia is another new Virginia-type peanut that has performed very well in South Carolina tests.

Georgia-08V is a new high-yielding, high-oleic, TSWV-resistant, large-seeded, Virginia-type peanut cultivar that was released by the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station in 2008

Georgia-08V has the high-oleic (O) and low linoleic (L) fatty acid ratio for improved oil quality. Over multi-locations tests in Georgia, Georgia-08V had significantly less TSWV disease incidence, higher yield and percent ELK, larges seed size, and greater dollar value return per acre compared to the check cultivar, Gregory, Perry, and NC-V11.

Bailey was released in 2008 by Tom Islieb’s North Carolina State’s program. It is a Virginia type peanut with a flavor profile similar to the runner type flavor standard Florunner. Its characteristics include an alternate branching pattern, medium green foliage, and an intermediate runner growth habit.

The Bailey peanut produces a medium Virginia type seed and fancy pod percentage similar to NC-V11. Studies have indicated it is partially resistant to leafspot, Cylindrocladium black rot, Sclerotinia blight, and tomato spotted wilt virus.

Sugg is the newest Virginia-type peanut selected as part of a program to develop cultivars with multiple disease resistance. It has an alternate branching pattern, intermediate runner growth habit, medium green foliage, and high contents of fancy pods.

In testing in North Carolina, it has averaged approximately 43 percent jumbo pods and 44 percent fancy pods, and extra large kernel content of approximately 48 percent. Sugg is partially resistant to resistant to the four most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina peanut production area: Early leafspot, Cylindrocladium black rot (CBR), Sclerotinia blight (SB), and tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV).

“Florida Fancy is a relatively new Virginia type that has produced competitive yields with the NC-V11 standard. Florida Fancy is less susceptible to late leaf spot than our standard varieties, but can be later in maturity. For severe CBR fields we recommend Perry,” Chapin says

“Right now for South Carolina conditions NC-V11 and Champs still offer the best balance of risk/reward in a Virginia type until seed becomes available for more resistant varieties. For specific situations we recommend other varieties such as Perry for CBR. When we can get Bailey seed, and if there is sheller interest in Georgia 08V those would be top choices, especially Bailey,” he adds

“Sugg is a year behind Bailey. Sugg is not quite as resistant as Bailey and has not shown quite as high a yield potential here, but Sugg has better resistance than any Virginia we currently have available and has been very yield competitive.” Both varieties have shown good tolerance to the four main diseases that plague South Carolina peanut production (white mold, late leaf spot, spotted wilt, and CBR). Chapin cautions that, like all varieties, these two aren’t perfect. Both Bailey and Sugg will require foliar insecticide for protection against leafhopper injury, but growers can handle that. Both varieties also have very rank growing canopies that are more likely to require guidance systems or growth regulators for digging.

“In runner type peanuts we have really only switched varieties once in 30 years. Florunner dominated runner type production for many years and then Georgia Green was the standard,”Chapin says.

“Now, we have several new runners: Georgia Greener, Georgia 06G, Tifguard, Georgia 07W, and Florida 07 that are pushing Georgia Green aside due to better virus resistance and yield performance. Georgia Greener and Georgia 06G have been particularly impressive in their consistent yield and grade performance.at Edisto and Pee Dee REC.”

Georgia-06G and Georgia Greener were released in 2006 by the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations. Both were developed by Bill Branch at the University of Georgia, Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, Ga. In multi-location tests conducted in Georgia during the past several years, Georgia-06G and Georgia Greener were found to be among the lowest in TSWV incidence and total disease incidence and highest in pod yield, TSMK grade, and dollar value return per acre compared to all of the other runner-types tested each and every year. Georgia-06G is a large-seeded runner-type peanut variety; whereas, Georgia Greener is more of a regular seed size runner-type variety.

Each has an immediate or decumbent runner growth habit and medium maturity similar to Georgia Green.

“Georgia Greener may turn out to be the best runner fit for South Carolina, because it has a pod size closer to Georgia Green. Our runner production is mostly dryland and a smaller pod means less drought and calcium deficiency risk. So we favor a variety that can deliver the upside under good conditions, but cover some downside risk under drought or delayed harvest,” says Chapin.

Georgia Greener has also shown some CBR tolerance, which is a big plus. There are some other new varieties for special problems.

For example Tifguard is a good one — bred for nematode resistance.

Georgia 07W, bred for white mold resistance, is another good one, if a grower has a field in which he knows white mold is likely to be a problem. Florida 07 has produced consistently high yields, but can be slightly later in maturity in South Carolina.

e-mail: rroberson@farmpress.com