Texas Peanut Producers Board is dedicated to spending 50 percent of our annual budget on research, approximately $350 thousand annually. In an effort to keep our farmers informed, our peanut research team got together and wrote a series of articles over successes in the industry. We will be featuring these articles in a three part blog series. Thank you to our Texas Peanut Breeding Research Team Members, Drs. Mark Burow, Michael Baring, Charles Simpson and John Cason, for their contributions.
Part I: The Past 15 Years
The mission of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research peanut breeding program is to develop improved peanut varieties for the growers of Texas, the United States, and developing countries all over the world. The program has released 11 new peanut varieties over the past 15 years which include; OLin, COAN, Tamrun OL01, Tamrun OL02, NemaTAM, Tamnut OL06, Tamrun OL07, Tamrun OL11, Tamrun OL12, Webb, and Schubert. Several of these varieties continue to be in some stage of production today.
OLin, which was released in 2000 as the first high oleic, Spanish-type peanut on the commercial market is still being grown today as well as its successor, Tamnut OL06 which was released in 2006. More recently in 2013 the program released Schubert (Pics 1&2) which was named after the late Dr. Mike Schubert long-time plant physiologist for Texas A&M. Schubert boast increased yield potential of 500 lbs/a, improved shell-out characteristics grading 1-2 percentage points higher, and maturing approximately one week earlier than OLin. It has seed size similar to OLin which is much smaller than the Tamnut OL06 variety and characteristics of a true Spanish-type peanut. Foundation Seed Service currently has a 12 acre increase of Schubert growing in West Texas.
Tamrun OL11 was released in 2011 because it has a high level of resistance to Sclerotinia blight and it has the highest grade potential of any of the TAMU releases both past and present. It was released to compete with the Flavor Runner 458 variety which was grown on much of the West Texas peanut region. Testing revealed that there was no significant difference between Tamrun OL11 and Flavor Runner 458 for yield, but that on average Tamrun OL11 would grade about 1 percentage point higher in fields with no disease pressure. Tests in fields where Sclerotinia blight was present revealed that Tamrun OL11 had a 25-50% yield advantage and a 3-4 percentage point grade advantage over Flavor Runner 458 depending upon the year and location of the test. Pic 3 is of a fungicide/no fungicide trial where there are four rows of Tamrun OL11 alternated with 4 rows of Flavor Runner 458 across the field. The Flavor Runner 458 rows have dead and dying plants throughout the length of the field while the Tamrun OL11 rows look healthy. There should be over ten thousand acres of commercial seed available for 2016.
Webb, which was named after long-time executive director of the Texas Peanut Producers Board Mary Webb, was released in 2013. Webb was the first Rootknot nematode resistant variety ever released that included the high oleic trait. It has moderate levels of resistance to Sclerotinia blight and has performed in the top group of our advanced line trials across the state for both yield and value per acre. This variety should be a good fit for South Texas growers where we have seen a recent increase in the number of fields identified as being infested with Rootknot nematodes. All of the Rootknot nematode resistant lines maintain their dark green appearance even in the presence of nematodes as depicted in the following picture (Pic 4). This was a South Texas Variety Trial performed by Jason Woodward and it was planted in a field of Georgia 09B. The field was visibly yellowed throughout the growing season while Webb and our other nematode resistant breeding lines remained dark green in color.
Check back soon for the next part of this three part series, Advanced Lines that are Near Release