That shift has been noted in Texas as well, says Texas AgriLife Extension plant pathologist Jason Woodward, who works out of the Lubbock Research and Extension Center. “Early in the 2,000s, we were growing about 80 percent runner peanut varieties. We are seeing a decline with most runners now coming out of the South Texas production area.”

Runner acreage is being supplanted mostly by Virginia varieties, which have offered better contracts the last few years. “They also adapt well to the Texas High Plains,” Woodward said.

He said Valencia peanuts also picked up acreage in 2012 but “were back to normal in 2013. We also see an opportunity to grow the Spanish market.” That market may be capped for now, however.

He said 2013 Texas peanut planting included 25 percent runners, 25 percent Spanish, 15 percent Valencias and about 35 percent Virginias.  Valencias will not yield as well as other market types but may offer good contract options.

Woodward said Texas acreage has declined with an upward blip in 2012. “It’s possible we could see from 115,000 to 120,000 acres in 2014.”

He’s also hoping for a better start for the 2014 crop. “We started off cold immediately after planting last year,” he said. That delayed emergence. “But stand was okay by the end of the year.”

Last year was also dominated by another severe drought. “We had extreme drought early but we did get more rain in-season than we had the last few years.”

He said establishing peanuts was more difficult further west. The north and northeast areas “started off better and got more rain in-season.”

Heavy winds, up to 70 miles per hour, also caused damage.

Woodward said newer varieties are coming along to supplant old standbys like Flavorunner 458. Tamrun OL07 and Tamrun OL11, he said, have better yield potential and better disease tolerance. “I am encouraged to see the performance of new varieties.”

Mark Burow, Texas A&M peanut geneticist, said several new high oleic varieties will be available within a few years. “We want to get high oleic options available in every market type,” Burow said.

He said Tamrun OL11, Tamrun OL12, Schubert, Webb, and TamVal OL14 are all high oleic. OL11 is a high oleic runner peanut “with improved shell-out,” Burow said. It also has resistance to sclerotinia.

“We have seed available for about 500 acres in 2014.”

 OL12 is a high oleic variety with improved edible seed quality and two weeks earlier maturity. “It will be several years before it’s available.”

Schubert is a high oleic, early-maturity Spanish variety, also with resistance to sclerotinia. That one also is several years away from market.

Webb is a multi-disease resistant runner type with tolerance to root knot nematode and sclerotinia, developed from a wild species cross.

TamVal OL14 is a high oleic Valencia variety with “disease resistance and higher yield.” It’s also several years from commercialization.

Burow said OL11 is available in limited quantities and Webb will be available soon. “The others are several years away.


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