“Right now, going into the 2011 season, NC-V11 is still our workhorse in South Carolina. Growers have seen that it is very yield competitive under ideal conditions, less susceptible to leaf spot and virus, and holds up well under drought stress.

“Even though NC-V11 was released in 1991, it’s still the best option for most of our growers.” Chapin says.

Champs (released by Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc. in 2004) is another excellent option. Champs has the advantage of early maturity (typically about 125 days in South Carolina and has delivered consistently high yields. 

Even though the pod size is larger than NC-V11, Champs has stood up to some drought stress relatively well. Champs is highly susceptible to late leaf spot, but is comparable to NC-V11 in virus resistance. Like NC-V11 and every other available Virginia-type, Champs is highly susceptible to white mold.

Gregory is a high yielding, fancy grade, big kernel variety that is ideal for the in-shell market and it yields s well in South Carolina, the big holdup is leafspot. “If you’re growing Gregory in South Carolina, you will need a Cadillac leaf spot treatment program, especially for late leafspot,” says Chapin.

Perry is a good fit in fields with a history of cylindrocladium black rot (CBR) damage on peanuts. It is a good yielding variety and has good tolerance to CBR, but unless CBR is a risk, there are better Virginia-type varieties for South Carolina growers, Chapin says. Perry is late maturing (about 145 days).

Florida Fancy is a high oleic Virginia-type peanut that has performed well in South Carolina. “We can grow it, but it is a little later maturing variety and usually late maturity is a disadvantage. We prefer a peanut that will mature in 135 days or less,” Chapin says.

“GA 08-V is a Virginia-type with very high yield and grade ratings that are at the top of the chart. It produces a kind of squared-off pod that hasn’t been accepted. Our growers can grow it, but there are no seed available.” 

For the future, Sugg is a new line from North Carolina State’s breeding program. It is a big Virginia-type peanut that has the potential to replace some of the varieties that have high disease risk.

Sugg has better leafspot, virus, and white mold resistance than currently available standards, but resistance and yield performance has not been up to what we have seen in Bailey. Foundation seed production begins this year (2011) and the variety may be available to growers in limited quantities in 2012.

Runner-type options

South Carolina is a hybrid peanut growing state in that growers grow both runner-types and Virginia-types. Though the higher prices for larger Virginia varieties has pushed production ahead of runners in the past few years, runners, or ‘peanut butter varieties’ still comprise a significant percentage (20-25%) of peanut acres in the Palmetto state.