New varieties now becoming available, and others still in the breeding pipeline, will offer growers more options in the type of peanuts they produce — as well as potential for production cost savings.

And says breeder Barry Tillman, associate professor of agronomy at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Extension Center at Marianna, “Growers have much better choices today; varieties available to growers for 2013 are uniformly excellent.

“Varieties we have today are improved considerably over Georgia Green, which was 78 percent of our acreage just a few years ago,” he said at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association. “All of today’s varieties are yielding 5,000 pounds to 6,000 pounds in our irrigated tests; all are very similar in terms of yield. The take-home message is that you aren’t going to suffer very much yield-wise with any of the varieties available today. All have quite high yield potential.”

In 2012, he says, five varieties constituted the bulk of seed available for purchase in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Georgia 06G was the most widely grown, with 77 percent of the seed acres; four others had around 5 percent of certified seed acreage: Tifguard, Georgia 07W, Florida 07, and Georgia Greener.

Two others, at 1 percent and 2 percent respectively, were FloRun 107 and Georgia 09B, high oleic varieties, relatively new to the market and increasing in seed acreage. Seed for both will be limited availability in 2013.

“These two varieties are beginning to get into the seed chain, he says, and should be more available to growers in the next few years,” he says. “Both are yielding quite well in our tests, with excellent grades.

“FloRun 107 is high yielding, with very good grades, medium maturity, good spotted wilt resistance, and moderate white mold resistance. One big advantage is that it has smaller seeds and pods than 06G, which could save you up to $30 per acre in planting costs. Seed will be in limited supply in 2013.

“TUFRunner 727 is high yielding, with excellent grades. It is a bit later in maturity, five to seven days later than Florida 107. Its real strength is its disease package, with excellent white mold resistance and some leaf spot resistance. It’s probably going to be one of the best in its category for white mold resistance. It is very new and available seed will be only for seed producers in 2013.”

In 2010, the University of Georgia released Georgia 10T, a late maturity, normal oleic variety with excellent resistance to spotted wilt, and 2011 released Georgia 11J, a Virginia type peanut with high oleic oil chemistry.

The USDA released Tifguard, a runner variety, in 2007 and seed are now generally available. It is a medium maturity, large-seed runner and the first variety to combine resistance to tomato spotted wilt virus and a high level of resistance to root knot nematodes.

A University of Florida release in 2007, Florida Fancy, is a Virginia type, high oleic runner variety with good resistance to tomato spotted wilt virus. Seed should be available in 2013, primarily in the southwestern production region of Texas.