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Oklahoma works to find better peanut

Better peanuts may be coming soon to the Southwest, thanks to collaborative work in Oklahoma.

Kelly D. Chamberlin, a USDA Agricultural Research Service peanut breeder, is aiming to find improved peanuts in a joint effort with Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Chamberlin addressed the 65th Annual Texas-Oklahoma Peanut Seed Quality Meeting at Quartz Mountain Resort in Lone Wolf, Okla., held in conjunction with the 2010 Oklahoma Peanut Expo.

Chamberlin said two major goals are to breed a peanut that is a high-oleic variety and shows a strong resistance to sclerotinia blight.

Mexico has become a major customer in seeking to buy high-oleic peanuts from the U.S. That’s especially important to the Southwest.

Meanwhile, sclerotinia blight remains the most difficult and dreaded disease peanut growers must deal with in production. Chamberlin and her research colleagues are studying some 140 high-oleic F3 generation breeding populations. The researchers also are working on 37 F5 early maturity peanuts, 27 F4 early maturity and 27 F5 runner peanuts, plus 33 F4 runners.

Key Points

• Oklahoma researchers are working toward breeding improved peanuts.

• It’s good to look at more than one year’s data when comparing varieties.

• Crop rotation is still one of the best management tools a grower can use.


Tamrun OL07 has been the benchmark peanut — consistently at the top in Oklahoma. But some data from studies in 2008 performed by Texas AgriLife Research, with Texas A&M University, have shown the grade of TX 994313 was significantly higher than that of Tamrun OL07 in 45% of their studies.

In Oklahoma peanut trials with 15 tests, TX 994313 had a higher peanut yield than Tamrun OL07 in a third of the trials, and a higher value per acre in 53% of the trials.

In Texas trials with 14 tests, Tamrun OL07 had a higher yield than TX 994313 in 28.6% of the trials, and Tamrun OL07 had a higher value per acre also in 28.6% of the trials.

Look at more than a year

Chad Godsey, Oklahoma State University plant and soil scientist, Stillwater, advises looking at a three- or four-year yield history when considering any peanut variety, not just one season. He noted OSU also likes to look at several locations when comparing peanuts.

Godsey said Tamrun OL07 has been consistently at the top among runner peanut varieties in Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Tamnut 06 steadfastly has been at the top in Spanish peanut varieties. AT 98-99-14 also is a consistently performing Spanish peanut for Oklahoma growers. Godsey noted there’s been some recent resurgence in Spanish peanut varieties in Oklahoma.

Rotate peanuts with other crops

Godsey suggests a good rotation program with peanuts. “We like to see two years between peanut crops, if not three years, when possible,” he told a packed Oklahoma Peanut Expo crowd.

He said some peanut growers try peanuts, then corn, and corn again, then return to peanuts. Or, some may even opt for peanuts, then grow switchgrass the following two seasons. A switchgrass rotation has proven positive.

John Damicone, OSU Extension plant pathologist, says where nematodes are a problem for peanuts, cotton can be a real good rotation with peanuts.

“I also still think peanuts in a double crop is a viable option,” Godsey added.

This article published in the May, 2010 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.